Pubdate: Wed, 29 Mar 2017
Source: North Bay Nugget (CN ON)
Copyright: 2017 North Bay Nugget
Author: Trevor Terfloth
Page: A1


The federal government's push to legalize marijuana, with the
potential of it occurring as soon as next year, has law enforcement
officials planning to deal with the impacts.

Following the recommendations of a government- appointed task force,
the aim is to ensure the safety and security of the marijuana supply.
The provinces would be allowed to determine how the drug is
distributed and sold.

OPP Const. Jay Denorer says police will continue to enforce the
legislation as it's currently written until there are changes.

"We don't make the laws, we just uphold what they are," he says. "The
OPP does not support the decriminalization or legislation of marijuana
usage. Our position is marijuana is a harmful drug that should not be

Denorer says there isn't a roadside screening device in use at this
point to detect the substance in motorists.

However, there are officers who are trained as drug recognition
evaluators, he says.

"Any officer will know if there's an impairment," Denorer says. "If we
don't smell the common indicators of alcohol, but I see that your eyes
are glossy, your pupils are dilated, you're not speaking coherently,
and I suspect there's drug use, I can call out what we have as a
standard field sobriety test."

He says the test can be done at the scene, or an officer can arrest
the driver for impairment and bring him or her back to the detachment
for an evaluation.

Denorer, of the southwest region, says there's also a pilot project in
the works involving the OPP and six additional police services for an
oral fluid screening device.

In addition to marijuana, he says, motorists need to be careful to
ensure they're not impaired by prescription drugs.

"It's a legal drug that's been prescribed to them, but you still have
to follow the labels and understand what they're saying," Denorer
says. "If you shouldn't be driving, you shouldn't be driving."
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MAP posted-by: Matt