In Canada, adult-use cannabis legalization is right around the corner. And according to law enforcement officials and public safety analysts, the fast-approaching deadline means Canadian police are running out of time to train officers to detect drug-impaired drivers. With incidents of drug-related crashes on the rise in Canada, officials are concerned that cannabis legalization will worsen the problem. But they say they don’t have enough time to train officers.
Canadian Police Say They’re Not Ready For Marijuana Legalization
The Canadian government spends “tens of millions of dollars annually on police training across the country,” according to Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale. Those costs cover many types of training, including working with new equipment, but also include things like field sobriety training and drug recognition.
Canadian law enforcement officers already receive basic field sobriety training. They know how to administer physical sobriety tests and use breathalyzers to detect alcohol intoxication. But to prepare Canadian police for cannabis legalization, the government has rolled out a new drug training curriculum to supplement the existing sobriety training and increase the number of officers who can serve as “drug recognition experts”.
Training officers in the new curriculum will be costly. “Millions of dollars and a lot of time,” according to Public Safety Analyst Chris Lewis, “And they don’t have enough time by the time the marijuana legalization thing comes into effect.”
Beyond standard sobriety training, the new curriculum will give police new tools to detect drug-impaired drivers. Officers will learn how to look for drug impairment, especially the influence of cannabis. But officers will also learn which medical conditions can mimic impairment. Finally, the training will also educate officers about the new laws.
Canada Braces For Spike In Drug-Impaired Driving
According to the Canadian government, drug-impaired driving is the leading criminal cause of death and injury in Canada. And drug-impaired driving is on the rise.
Furthermore, Public Safety Canada conducted a drug-impaired driving survey in 2017 that found 28 percent of cannabis users have operated a vehicle under the influence.
To combat drug-impaired driving, Sergeant David Caron with Guelph Police Traffic Services says the new training is necessary. But he acknowledges it’s costly and time-consuming.
Still, without more drug recognition experts, police forces will have to rely on a limited pool of qualified officers. “At the side of the road if the officer isn’t trained, then we have to call somebody to the scene,” Sgt. Caron told CTVNews.
Canadian Police Are Feeling the Pressure
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police are currently experimenting with a roadside device that can test for drug impairment. The Canadian government has not approved it, so for now they will have to rely on training their officers. Or at least as many as they’re able to train by the time legalization hits.
“With the legislation coming into place quickly, we don’t have things in place to help officers deter and determine if someone is impaired by drugs right now,” said Sgt. Caron.
However, Canadian police forces may have more time than they think. Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government issued a July 1, 2018 deadline for full implementation of adult-use cannabis. But the legislation has yet to pass the full Senate, which means the law could take effect later than July 1.
Munchie Showdown: Pop-Tarts vs. Toaster Strudel
First Alcohol Association Supports Recreational Marijuana
How To Make Firecrackers
Oklahoma Health Department Sued Over Medical Marijuana Restrictions
News7 days ago
Israel Moving to Decriminalize Marijuana Use This Week
Science7 days ago
The Truth About Terps
News5 days ago
The DEA Has Released This Year’s Drug Slang Handbook
Health6 days ago
Study Finds Cannabis May Not Be Effective at Treating Chronic Pain
Movies7 days ago
Top 14 2018 Movies to Watch While High
News6 days ago
Synthetic Marijuana Flooding Florida Prisons
News6 days ago
Michigan Approves 11 New Conditions for Medical Marijuana Program
Business6 days ago
The Weird and Wonderful World of Las Vegas Weed Culture