On October 17 Canadians celebrated the legalization of recreational cannabis. This kind of event should be celebrated and each Canadian citizen surely hit a blunt. But everyone is asking about the Canadian police, do they get to smoke weed like fellow citizens?
The RCMP can smoke medicinal marijuana as long as it’s not done secretly. Current members have insurance over-prescribed medical cannabis. According to La Presse, 47 current and former members of the RCMP invested 272,000 Canadian dollars on 554 grams of cannabis, resulting to 1.5 grams per officer a day between the year 2015 and 2016.
Police associations in Canada are responsible for determining police officers can smoke or not.
Currently, only the province of Calgary is requesting an abstinence-only policy. The Waterloo Regional Police Service and Guelph Police Service in Ontario, are still creating their strategy. According to officials of the Windsor Police Service, they are still studying and reviewing their policy. According to the police service in Toronto, officers cannot smoke marijuana within 28 days of reporting for duty.
On the other hand, the police service of the provinces of Ontario, Vancouver, and Montreal will take after a “fit for duty” policy. That entails that officers will not be permitted to report for duty under the influence of cannabis, alcohol, or any other substance. But when these officers are off duty, they can freely smoke marijuana.
Currently, cops in the Canadian provinces of Ottawa, Vancouver and Montreal can freely smoke legal marijuana when they are off duty. However, they are not allowed to smoke marijuana before the beginning of their shift starts or work under the influence of marijuana.
According to Steve Bell who is the chairman of the OACP’s human resources committee, officers are mature enough to determine if they’re “fit for duty.” However, it is the sole responsibility of front-line supervisors, health, safety and lifestyle practitioners in organizations to ensure that officers send those reports regarding the challenges faced when reporting for duty and fitness for duty and ensure that they’re controlling and observing.
Officers will also have the opportunity to possess their marijuana during working hours and during the break as long as it’s still in their original packaging. Taking into account drug testing, only officers who are suspected of being under the influence of marijuana will be required to take a drug test. If an officer is suspected of being impaired, then he/she has to be reported so that they can undergo a drug test.
According to the president of the Police Association of Ontario, Bruce Chapman, the biggest challenge deals with the uncertainty that lies within policies in provinces and cities that have are still the make the final decision.
He also said that the disappointment starts when they’re trying to implement a policy in which people are dormant about, and the effects of their actions and what they’re permitted to do, and how they differentiate from one service to another and neighboring jurisdictions might implement completely different policies.
In order to avoid consequences, most officers will only have to wait before consuming recreational cannabis until the policies are implemented in all provinces and for now nobody knows when these policies will be implemented.