Canadian Police Association Says Banning Officers From Using Marijuana Is 'An Offensive Approach'

The Canadian Police Association is speaking out against an RCMP proposal to ban police officers from consuming cannabis within 28 days of a shift.

"Effectively what they're saying is, we don’t trust police officers to make the right decision when it comes to reporting for work fit for duty," Tom Stamatakis, President of the Canadian Police Association, told The Canadian Press. "And I just find that to be an offensive approach."

The Toronto Police Service has also proposed a nearly month-long moratorium on cannabis consumption, which Stamatakis sees as basically an outright ban. "It's effectively an outright prohibition," he noted.

However, the proposed ban hasn't been set in stone yet.

"Once the TPA receives an official version of the policy dealing with this topic, we will perform a legal analysis of its content for compliance with our collective agreements, legislation, human rights, case law, etc. and make a decision about any further action we may take at that point in time."

Meanwhile, the Calgary police force plans to prohibit their officers from consuming cannabis at all. A measure that is arguably extreme and inconsistent since Calgary police aren't banned from consuming alcohol while off-duty or from prescription drugs that can impair judgment and job performance.

So while cannabis prohibition will officially come to an end on October 17th, anti-cannabis biases will linger on in Canada.

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Most people know that to consume alcohol and then get behind the wheel of a car is very dangerous — not just for the driver and passengers, but for anyone else sharing the road. For cannabis consumers, however, understanding levels of impairment is not so straightforward. To date, there is not yet a technology used by law enforcement that can accurately detect cannabis impairment similar to alcohol breathalyzers.

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