Pubdate: Sat, 22 Apr 2017
Source: Moose Jaw Times-Herald (CN SN)
Copyright: 2017 The Moose Jaw Times-Herald Group Inc.
Author: Sarah Ladik
Page: 2


It's been a long time coming and it's not here yet, but like the rest
of the country, Moose Jaw is getting ready for the rollout of
legalized marijuana.

"We were invited to provide input and participate in discussions,"
said Moose Jaw Police Chief Rick Bourassa, who has been representing
Moose Jaw and Saskatchewan on committees in Ottawa on this issue.

"We'll see as this goes through Parliament, and when the laws are
proclaimed, we'll be having more discussions about it."

The federal government announced the proposed legislative changes that
would legalize and regulate cannabis by July 2018, hinging on
parliamentary approval, earlier this month. There are, however, still
concerns about the implementation of such legislation.

Bourassa outlined three areas of concern; drug-impaired driving,
protecting young people, and addressing the potential for organized

"We need the tools to deal with impaired driving," he said. "The
technology is coming slowly, and we do have the tools we've already
been using, but it's not there yet."

Those tools already in use are namely extra training for officers in
which they complete a drug recognition program. A document released by
the federal government outlines proposed changes to impaired driving
laws that would include blood tests for THC, the main psychoactive
compound in marijuana.

"We need to understand our role in implementing the new rules,"
Bourassa said, though noting again that legislation has to get through
Parliament first. "We need to be really clear on how we're going to
enforce it. We don't want our officers to be too draconian, or too

Minister of Pubic Safety Ralph Goodale added his voice to support the
Government of Canada in the April 13 release.

"It will allow law enforcement to focus on other serious offences," he
said. "Including the distribution of cannabis to children and youth
and driving under the influence of drugs."
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