“We haven’t seen a significant increase in terms of impaired driving, which is first and foremost, something that was on our mind and something that we talked a lot about,” said Regina Police Chief Evan Bray.
“We have seen a lot of consumption in public.”
However, the Regina Police Service is using these types of incidents to inform the public, rather than enforce the law.
“We have not done any enforcement. We have done a lot of education and a lot of communication in regard to that,” Bray said.
“Our approach off the start is to focus on education and the ability to help the community understand what the rules are – we’re still learning as well. Generally speaking, it has not been a significant change in behaviour in our community.”
Bray said he believes it’s just a matter of people not fully understanding where you are allowed to smoke cannabis, rather than being defiant.
“We’ve had people who have said to our officers ‘It’s legal and I’m proud to say that I’m a person who likes to enjoy recreational marijuana,’ but the reality is, there is some prohibition on where you can enjoy it,” Bray said.
Bray said alcohol can be used as a comparison when trying to understand the legality behind public assumption of cannabis.
“I think the provincial government has done a good job to draw those parallels naturally in a lot of ways whether it’s through the age or through some of the rules and regulations around how it can be consumed,” Bray said.
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“I think it makes it easy for us as a community to understand it when we put it in that context.”
Regina police say they have yet to issue a ticket for impaired driving or public assumption due to the use of cannabis since legalization on Oct. 17.
Regina police are still waiting to receive a Draeger device, a mobile oral fluid test used to detect seven types of the most commonly used drugs including marijuana, which could be added to their police force as early as mid-November.
Officers have already received training on the Draeger.