Vancouver Legalizes Marijuana, and Now Police Officers Can Smoke Too
Cops in Vancouver can smoke pot – the policy represents one of the more lax marijuana policies in Western Canada.
In a rejection of a 24-hour abstinence period, the Vancouver Police Board revealed it is okay for police officers to smoke marijuana before turning up for duty so long they are “fit for duty.” Marijuana legalization in the city is scheduled to occur by mid-October, but the new police regulation is set to kick off now.
The Vancouver Police Department in August recommended that the police department reject any sort of enforced abstinence period for consuming marijuana prior to a shift.
The board’s new regulation is premised on the fact that cannabis affects people differently, and to varying extents. Cannabinoids, the psychoactive agent in marijuana, takes different lengths of time to clear the system of individuals.
“Specifying a time frame can create an implicit approval that this period of abstinence is all that’s required to ensure fitness for duty,” the Vancouver Police Board wrote. “This can lead to unnecessary labor conflicts where employees are fit for duty but have consumed cannabis within this time frame, or where employees are not fit for duty but mistakenly believe they are as they consumed outside this time frame.”
Police officers in Vancouver will still not be permitted to use cannabis in any form before immediately resuming for work – as is the case with alcohol. They are permitted to possess marijuana and other controlled drugs during work shifts or during break periods, but the substance must remain unbroken and intact in its original package.
Marijuana Affects Individuals Differently Based On Various Factors
The Vancouver Police Board’s stance on marijuana use by its officers is more permissive than in other regions of Western Canada. The Calgary Police Service forbids its officers to use cannabis in any form whether they are at work or off-duty.
As part of its regulatory policy, the Vancouver Police Board will be training its officers and department employees on how cannabis affects individual humans. This training will help officers and staff to make informed decisions on how they use recreational cannabis.
Experts reveal that marijuana affects users based on factors such as mode of intake, strain consumed, frequency and quantity consumed as well as individual tolerance to cannabis.
Going by the new regulation, Vancouver police officers will be subjected to marijuana testing if they are suspected to be impaired in any way.