Pot legalization will mean more work for police in B.C.: RCMP official

New regulations governing production and sale of cannabis to require greater interaction between police, local councils

Communities’ responses to marijuana legalization must be coordinated with police and the province as usage becomes more widespread, Union of B.C. Municipalities delegates heard Sept. 10.

And, said RCMP assistant commissioner Eric Stubbs, “it’s not going to be less work because it’s legalized. It’s going to be more.”

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Canada will legalize, regulate and restrict access to cannabis nationally on Oct. 17.

New laws will allow people over 18 to possess up to 30 grams of legally-produced cannabis; allow adults to grow up to four plants per household; regulate production, sale and distribution; and establish provisions for impaired driving.

Clayton Pecknold, director of police services with the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, said B.C.’s Cannabis Control Act requires police to consider direction from local councils in marijuana control operational plans.

Stubbs said the RCMP is ready for stoned drivers.

“We have a new, robust program on hand to spot impaired drivers,” he said. “we certainly have to be ready for it.”

Pecknold isn’t sure, however, that usage will increase.

“People who smoke and drive already area already [doing] that,” he said

The cannabis issue is one being addressed throughout the five-day Whistler conference.

Other angles include taxation revenue sharing, cannabis production in the Agricultural Land Reserve workplace concerns and general impacts on municipalities.

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