February 9, 2018 5:56 pm

Canadian military to spend up to $170K on goggles that mimic a pot buzz

FILE - Similar goggles are already used by the army to simulate the effects of alcohol impairment, a National Defence spokesman said.

Adrienne South/Global News

The Department of National Defence is hoping to buy 26 “marijuana simulation kits” in order to give members of the Canadian army “a realistic, first-hand experience” of what being intoxicated by the drug feels like.

The kits are essentially goggles that Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members will wear during training, according to a notice posted on the government’s Buy and Sell website.

By posting the notice, companies interested in winning the contract can approach the government with offers. The contract is estimated to be worth up to $170,000 over five years.

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The government’s notice explains the glasses must be delivered by April 30.

In an email statement to Global News, National Defence spokesman Daniel Le Bouthillier explained the kits will be used during the military personnel command’s supervisor training course.

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“The kits are designed to provide a first-hand experience of marijuana’s effects on the body in order to better identify signs of drug use,” Le Bouthillier said.

“This will, in turn, raise marijuana awareness and reduce the risk of impairment, while promoting a healthier lifestyle for all CAF members.”

Those wearing the goggle will experience symptoms such as distorted vision, slower decision-making, and loss of motor co-ordination. They will then have to participate in activities such as tossing a ball, simulated driving, walking and exercising.

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Similar goggles are already used by the army to simulate the effects of alcohol impairment, Le Bouthillier noted.

Much like those kits, the marijuana ones will also be used at health and education events, where there will be government kiosks to inform the public of the drug’s effects.

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The statement added that the armed forces currently have a zero-tolerance policy for illegal drug use among members, however, exceptions are made for medical reasons.

“The CAF will continue to apply existing laws and policies until the legislation comes into effect, and continue to review its policies as the legislation progresses through Parliament and a date for implementation draws closer,” it read.

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