file photo of someone smoking marijuana.

More Time Needed To Prepare For Legal Marijuana

Sarnia’s police chief says more time is necessary to prepare for new marijuana legislation next summer.

Phil Nelson say with amendments still being made to the legislation to legalize pot, there’s time constraints on police services to properly train officers.

“First of all, you want to have the final piece of legislation in your hands,” says Nelson. “It’s still in readings before the House of Commons which means there could still be changes to the legislation so there’s things that we don’t even know yet that they’re going to make changes to.”

Chief Nelson wants at least six months to put course materials together to train his officers.

“Don’t forget too, there’s legislation changes coming to certain parts of the criminal code regarding impairment by drugs, impairment by marijuana and screening devices,” he says. “Those are two important pieces of legislation that go hand in hand and that’s another thing that officers are going to have to be trained on too, you need time to do that.”

On Tuesday, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, which represents all police services in the country, told the House of Commons health committee that police will not be ready to enforce the new laws by July, 2018.

The association also said more time is needed for public education.