September 25, 2018 2:14 pm

Winnipeg cadets to patrol, enforce provincial laws around public pot smoking in the city

Two men pass a marijuana joint at Cannabis Culture in Montreal in a December 16, 2016, file photo.

The Canadian Press File/Graham Hughes
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The province will expand the powers granted to cadets and safety officers to be able to “apprehend” people who are smoking pot publicly.

Justice Minister Cliff Cullen announced the changes Tuesday, saying they go into effect on Oct. 17, the same day marijuana is legalized in Canada.

The changes will affect community safety officers, First Nations safety officers, Winnipeg Police Service cadets and the WPS river patrol unit, he said.

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Those four groups will, in addition to RCMP and WPS officers, be able to “enforce provincial laws prohibiting cannabis use in public places, possession under the legal age of 19 and providing cannabis to someone underage,” said the province.

READ MORE: Pot retailers announce stores in Manitoba, including cannabis ‘superstore’ in St. Vital

Cadets will also be able to apprehend people who trespass or who smoke tobacco in enclosed places.

Global News has reached out to the province for clarification on whether cadets will be able to formally arrest people or hand out fines.

The river patrol will also be able to enforce pot laws, and enforce laws around the transportation of alcohol and public drinking, taking drunk people into custody, enforce restrictions under the Off-Road Vehicles Act and some licensing restrictions like driving while disqualified.

The river patrol unit is staffed by civilian employees who previously did not have those powers.

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