Pubdate: Sat, 18 Nov 2017
Source: Montreal Gazette (CN QU)
Copyright: 2017 Postmedia Network Inc.
Author: Andy Riga
Page: A16


Few Quebec police officers are trained to determine whether drivers
are under the influence of marijuana, a federation of cop unions says.

"Police services are simply not ready" for cannabis legalization,
Robin Cote, president of the 4,500-member Federation des policiers et
policieres municipaux du Quebec (FPMQ), said on Friday.

The FPMQ issued a plea for more training a day after the provincial
government presented its pot-legalization bill.

Under Quebec's plan, there would be zero-tolerance for driving under
the influence of marijuana.

Police officers would have the power to demand a saliva test and could
immediately suspend a scofflaw's driver's licence for 90 days.

But the 4,500-member FPMQ said at the moment, police forces in the
province do not have enough resources to fulfil such a role.

If an officer has reason to believe that a driver is under the
influence of cannabis, the officer would have to take that driver to a
police station to meet an officer who is trained to test for drug use,
the FPMQ said.

It is that second officer who would have the skills required to assess
the driver and administer the required test.

The federation said five Quebec police forces do not have a single
officer who is trained to test for drug use, while another 15
departments have only one qualified officer.

Cote wants the provincial government to quickly put a plan in place to
train more officers.
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