“Realistically, police officers have been dealing with people impaired by drugs for many years.”
And that’s why the BC Police Association isn’t too concerned that there was no mention of funding for regulating cannabis in Tuesday’s federal budget.
Association president Tom Stamatakis said the federal government has made previous announcements around training for officers, involving sobriety testing and drug recognition experts.
“The challenges around that, of course, are working out the details,” he said.
“Ensuring that the funding that was announced does make it to the local level, and also identifying where those training courses are available so that we can prepare police officers for the legalization of marijuana and anticipated increase in the number of people driving impaired by drug.”
Stamatakis said that figuring out how the money will trickle down to police forces will be an ongoing process.
But the biggest question at hand, according to Stamatakis, is whether police will see an increased number of people driving under the influence when marijuana is legalized.
Meanwhile, the provincial government has already said that it plans to beef up marijuana regulations and penalties, and will create a 90-day roadside driving prohibition to penalize drug-impaired drivers.