Edmonton police will need about $1.4 million in ongoing and one-time
funding to prepare for marijuana legalization this summer, a report to
the police commission states.
Cannabis is set to become legal in Canada this summer and with it
comes higher policing costs, the Edmonton Police Commission heard Thursday.
Police officials outlined a laundry list of new technology and
training needed to enforce legal weed laws. Last month, the city
approved $1.4 million in one-time and ongoing funding to help the
police service deal with the impact of legal weed.
[continues 538 words]
The sheer volume of human suffering has been increasing exponentially
in recent months as a new and deadly wave of opioids scythes through
local drug users and addicts, says Const. Ryan Darroch, a 15-year
veteran of the Lethbridge Police Service, and a beat cop with the
downtown policing unit.
"We have not yet confirmed carfentanil (behind the recent overdoses)
through our lab analysis," he emphasizes, "but we have seized
carfentanil in the city. A lot of the street people we talk to in the
downtown, and all over this city, refer to it as 'Car.' It almost
looks like that candy Nerds. They tell us they take that carfentanil
and mix it with a water solution in those little blue vials people may
see on the streets on the ground. They mix that solution in little
green mixing bowls, and it breaks down the opioid inside that and they
may then draw that solution into a needle and inject it into
themselves. Fentanyl or
[continues 622 words]
Police are "picking and choosing " when it comes to marijuana
enforcement, says a Whyte Avenue medical cannabis dispensary owner
charged after a bust last month.
The Edmonton Drug and Gang Enforcement Section (EDGE) executed search
warrants Feb. 2 at two commercial addresses and a residence, turning
up cannabis products with a combined street value estimated by police
Paul Olson, owner of Whyte Cross dispensary, one of the businesses
raided Feb. 2, said it was "a little bit of a surprise" when police
entered his store and seized his products.
[continues 417 words]
Alleged local international crime cartel had United States, Mexican
Calgary school buddies came together to form their own drug
trafficking gang, with links to murder, money laundering and vicious
Mexican cartels, say city police.
The group was allegedly responsible for millions of dollars in
international drug imports and exports, and has been tied to a brazen
Calgary shooting that left two dead in a south Calgary Superstore
Calgary police say the group now faces dozens of charges, from drug
importation to money-laundering to murder.
[continues 826 words]
Calgary police will reveal details Thursday about how they smashed a
city-based crime cartel involved in murder, massive importation of
drugs and money laundering.
Tentacles of the gang spread as far as Mexico, and Postmedia sources
say they had connections with notorious drug cartels there.
Postmedia has also learned the group has been tied to a brazen
daylight shooting May 21 that left two men dead in a southeast Calgary
Superstore parking lot.
Sources say the bust is so significant that members of the U.S. Drug
Enforcement Adminstration (DEA) will be on hand when police reveal
details at a news conference Thursday morning.
[continues 343 words]
Emergency services taxed by spike in overdoses, incidents
Police, firefighters and paramedics are so overwhelmed with
drug-related 911 calls in the days after welfare cheques are issued
that Victoria's police chief wants the province to consider staggering
distribution of the cheques throughout the month.
"Generally speaking, we see a spike during the evening of welfare
Wednesday and the day or two after of overdose calls, disturbances,
drug activity occurring. Sometimes someone has been defrauded or
robbed," Police Chief Del Manak told the Times Colonist.
[continues 704 words]
Brighton - People consume marijuana because it relaxes them but the
prospect of its recreational use becoming legal is making police anxious.
"Anticipated issues" include "easier access for the youth population,"
impaired operation of vehicles, and the "facilitation of trafficking,"
OPP Detective-Sergeant Rick Dupuis said in a presentation to Brighton
council on the implications of the federal law that is to take effect
sometime after July 1.
"The provincial and federal governments indicate that this act was
introduced to minimize or mitigate accessibility to our young
population but in my professional opinion I believe that is ...
counterintuitive," he told council Feb. 20. "It's going to make it
[continues 690 words]
With some marijuana dispensaries still open in spite of repeated
warnings, the Regina Police Service is now taking its campaign to the
About two weeks ago, police sent letters to property owners informing
them that their pot-shop tenants are committing a criminal offence.
Selling cannabis out of storefronts remains illegal.
According to police spokesperson Les Parker, the letters also conveyed
that the properties "may be subject to forfeiture" if sales continue.
He cited a provision of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act that
allows courts to order the seizure of "offence-related property."
[continues 248 words]
As a national opioid crisis wages on, Toronto police have decided to
equip their downtown frontline officers with the opioid antidote naloxone.
"This is about life and death, and that's what we signed up to do,"
Chief Mark Saunders told the Toronto Police Services Board at their
Chief Saunders was tasked last year with submitting a report to the
board on how the service might go about deploying the antidote, which
can be used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.
[continues 571 words]
Come as city officials prepare to discuss future of
Police are cracking down on illegal storefront pot shops across
Hamilton even as dispensary advocates prepare for "roundtable"
discussions with city officials about their future.
Operators of five MMJ and Pacifico medical marijuana dispensaries -
spread across the lower city and on the Mountain - told The Spectator
they were raided by police late last week.
Britney Guerra, a vocal dispensary advocate and former owner, said she
has heard from four other raided shops - one as recently as Monday -
but none of those operators were willing to speak to The Spectator.
[continues 377 words]
Re Cops accused of being high on job, Jan. 30 Yes, the two Toronto
police officers should not have eaten the edible marijuana evidence.
But in doing so, they demonstrated how potentially dangerous these
products are. I do not know what is on the label but what would happen
if a teenager or young child found his parents' stash and decided to
try it? Are there standards? Or is it buyer beware? The police
officers may have done us a favour.
Eileen Herbert, Barrie
Dissenting opinion found charter rights were violated during 'fishing
A senior Ontario judge has called out Toronto police officers who
arrested a man on gun and drug charges for "casually intimidating and
oppressive misconduct," and wondered if their actions would have been
different in a whiter and wealthier neighbourhood.
The criticism came in a dissenting opinion from Ontario Court of
Appeal Justice Peter Lauwers, who recently disagreed with his two
colleagues on a panel hearing the appeal of Tom Le, convicted in 2014
of firearm and drug-related offences and sentenced to five years in
[continues 742 words]
Langara journalism students attended the Jan. 18 Vancouver Police
When I'm not searching for the truth, or driving my sports-crazy kids
around the Lower Mainland -- or deciding whether my tea of the day
should be "super green matcha" or turmeric and ginger - I sometimes
impart my semi-mad journalism skills on Langara College students.
And sometimes, like last Thursday, those students join me on the
We attended a Vancouver Police Board meeting, where we heard Insp.
Bill Spearn of the VPD's major crime section tell us that overdose
deaths in the city are still at a crisis level - at least 335 people
are suspected of dying in 2017, with more than 80 per cent of the
deaths connected to fentanyl.
[continues 598 words]
Owners weigh options as nation moves toward legalization in July
Cuong Nguyen will lose his job in three weeks.
He might even lose it sooner, if the city police tell Regina Green
Cross Medicine to stop selling marijuana before February 15. For now,
that's the date his bosses plan to close up shop - and everything must
"It's kind of crappy, to be honest," he said. "Now I have to look for
a new job."
Last Tuesday, Regina Police Chief Evan Bray warned cannabis
dispensaries that they're breaking the law. He hinted at possible
enforcement action in the coming weeks.
[continues 700 words]
Cambridge man back at courthouse smoking pot - this time fully clothed
KITCHENER - Jeffrey Shaver, the Cambridge man famous for his
bong-smoking nearly naked protests across Waterloo Region, has been
The professional standards branch of Waterloo Regional Police has
ruled officers unlawfully arrested, searched and detained him after he
smoked medical marijuana in front of the Cambridge police station on
Oct. 22, 2016.
Shaver, 31, fired up a bong that day to protest a charge of marijuana
possession laid on Oct. 20. On both days Shaver showed regional police
officers his documents for medical marijuana. Both times he was
charged with possession.
[continues 644 words]
Food cart vendors raised concerns about site
An open-air weed market operating in downtown Vancouver's Robson
Square has been shut down by police.
Complaints were filed in recent weeks with the Vancouver police over
vendors who had set up tents and carts in the pedestrian-only area,
selling cannabis and related products. Nearby food cart vendors voiced
concerns about marijuana booths selling to minors, and there were
questions about whether they had business licences such as what is
required of the food cart vendors.
[continues 262 words]
Food vendors had filed complaints about cannabis sales near art
An open-air weed market operating in downtown Vancouver's Robson
Square has been shut down by police.
Complaints were filed in recent weeks with the Vancouver police over
vendors who had set up tents and carts in the pedestrian-only area,
selling cannabis and related products.
Nearby food cart vendors voiced concerns about marijuana booths
selling to minors, and there were questions about whether they had
business licences, such as what is required of the food cart vendors.
[continues 262 words]
in this city is a much worse problem than
The opioid epidemic that has overtaken Ontario has left its mark on
Lambton County, but a more insidious problem - the widespread use of
crystal methamphetamine -will have an equal, if not greater effect on
crime in the future, according to the head of Sarnia Police Service's
Det. Sgt. John Pearce spoke about the prevalence of opioids and
methamphetamine in Sarnia, the inherent dangers of these drugs, and
the legalization of marijuana during a recent presentation at the
Central Forum Speaker Series.
[continues 1034 words]
New Glasgow Police Chief Eric MacNeil is worried the legalization of
marijuana will cause a spike in potentially lethal drug-impaired driving.
Making the problem worse is that police have no equipment such as
breathalyzers that can easily and quickly detect marijuana in
suspected impaired drivers.
Instead, police must typically rely on expert drug-recognition
officers to visually detect the effects of marijuana, such as trouble
concentrating or hallucinations. Blood and urine samples can also be
"It causes me great concern. We are in the business of public safety,"
[continues 432 words]
(Re: High drivers concern cops, Jan. 18 edition)
When Canadian Chiefs of Police said they are simply not ready to
enforce new rules, once pot is legalized next summer, one major
concern was the anticipated increase in pot-impaired drivers on
Canadian highways and lack of a simple roadside test for actual
impairment. The alternative would be for the police having to take
suspected pot-impaired drivers to a hospital to have blood extracted.
I can just imagine the court challenges that would result in. A simple
roadside test should be made available before pot is legalized.
[continues 145 words]
POLICE raided two locations of the Winnipeg Compassion Club last week,
saying the storefronts were operating as "illegal marijuana
Officers seized approximately $25,000 worth of marijuana, $20,000 of
marijuana in alternate forms and $6,000 in cash from both locations,
which were "openly selling marijuana," the Winnipeg Police Service
said in a news release on Wednesday.
Three men were arrested and charged with several drug-possession and
trafficking offences, as well as possession of the proceeds of crime.
The men, ages 45, 28 and 27, have been released pending court
[continues 362 words]
Chief warns crackdown could be coming as weed is still illegal
Regina police are well aware stores selling marijuana are up and
running around the city.
And while cannabis is set to become legal this summer, Chief Evan Bray
is clear: selling the product is still illegal.
It's a message he says will be actively communicated with the public
in coming weeks, and it is one those working at or running
dispensaries in the city have likely already heard.
Bray wants the illegality of dispensaries to be clearly known.
[continues 560 words]
Chief says pot shops still against law and service will be speaking to
Regina's police chief again put marijuana dispensaries "on notice"
that they're breaking the law, warning they could face criminal
charges in the weeks to come.
"In the next six weeks, prepare yourself for some headlines," Regina
police chief Evan Bray told an audience gathered at a Chamber of
Commerce luncheon Tuesday.
He said police actions will follow an education campaign, set to begin
in about a week and a half.
[continues 460 words]
Local police say they need more resources to combat driving while high
as the federal government moves to legalize marijuana across Canada.
The key to reducing driving while high remains education, enforcement
and keeping minors from accessing or using marijuana once Ottawa
legalizes the drug.
"Currently police forces throughout Pictou County, Nova Scotia and
Canada use drug recognition officers who deal with impaired drivers.
They can determine if they are under the influence of drugs," said
Const. Ken MacDonald at New Glasgow Regional Police.
[continues 338 words]
No evidence to suggest items were stolen, force says
Thousands of dollars in cash, nearly 30 kilograms of marijuana and
three kilograms of cocaine are unaccounted for after an audit of
Halifax police drug exhibits, but the force said there's no evidence
to suggest its officers stole the missing evidence.
Halifax Regional Police Supt. Jim Perrin presented his final Drug
Exhibit Audit Report to the Board of Police Commissioners on Tuesday,
the final step in a process that began in 2015 after allegations that
an officer had stolen from the evidence lockers.
[continues 614 words]
Re: Here's why it's time to legalize all drugs, Jan. 10
It seems that both Ottawa Inner City Health and the Ottawa police are
between a rock and a hard place when it comes to performing their
As some recent media coverage regarding safe injection sites appears
to have placed more emphasis on the general welfare of the addict
rather than the challenges faced by law enforcement, it could be
helpful for the general population to know more about what exactly is
being done by health officials to get people off their drug addictions.
There may be more support for safe access to injection sites if they
were clearly identified as places with mandated programs to provide
assistance in recovery as opposed to simply continuing with the status
F. Dale Boire, Ottawa
Surveillance intimidates clients, staff at Inner City Health's safe
All is not rosy at Ottawa's first sanctioned safe injection site in
The executive director of Ottawa Inner City Health, which operates the
legal drug-taking site from a trailer at Shepherds of Good Hope, said
Ottawa police regularly have a cruiser parked by the steps to the facility.
"We are having really significant problems currently and we're hoping
we can resolve them," said Wendy Muckle.
[continues 735 words]
London police are warning the public that cocaine seized in November
contained the deadly opioid fentanyl.
Health Canada tests confirmed the presence of fentanyl - an opioid 100
times more powerful than morphine - in drugs found on a 33-year-old
London man after he was arrested.
"This is the first time in London that both cocaine and fentanyl were
discovered in the same sample," police said in a news release Sunday.
"It is not confirmed if the drugs were intentionally or inadvertently
[continues 334 words]
Owner of one business said he 'wanted to be a role model' for future
City police have shut down two south Edmonton cannabis operations, but
the owner of one says he was just trying to help medical marijuana
patients fill their prescriptions.
"I really wanted to be a role model for the city and to get this done
right. I wanted them to work with me, not against me," David
Tiefenbach, one of the owners of MediJoint, 7809 109 St., said Thursday.
[continues 386 words]
Several people now face drugrelated charges
It's not legal yet.
Police sent out a stern warning Thursday after shutting down two
cannabis dispensaries in south Edmonton - including one that required
prescriptions for purchase - and making several arrests.
"We want the owners and employees of these illegal cannabis operations
to be aware that they're breaking the law, and that we'll continue to
enforce that law until such time those laws are changed," said
Edmonton Police Service Insp. Shane Perka.
[continues 503 words]
'A year of growth
year of finding our feet'
WATERLOO REGION - When police chief Bryan Larkin talks about harm
reduction and being more humane with the drug user, he gets pushback.
When he suggests supervised injection sites may be an alternative to
help users take their drugs safely and the site will save lives, he
And when he flies the Pride flag at police headquarters, he gets
pushback. In each case, he gets criticism from people in the community
and sometimes from officers, too.
[continues 985 words]
He may not be able to change it but that doesn't mean he has to like
the new law allowing people to grow their own pot plants.
"Personal cultivation is something I personally really struggle with
as a citizen, a parent and a police chief," Cape Breton Regional
Police Chief Peter McIsaac said during the recent Police Commissioners
"It's a view shared pretty consistently in the policing community
across the country."
When the Cannabis Act comes into effect in July 2018, Canadian adults
will be allowed to grow four plants at home, up to a height of 100 cm.
This is about waist high on an average adult.
[continues 55 words]
Officers can't nab owners because of resource woes, says Doug Kirkland
A Citizen report Nov. 18 quotes Judge Norm Boxall on the Ottawa Police
Service's failure to charge the owners and backers of illegal
marijuana distribution shops.
Sentencing a young budtender from a Rideau Street shop, he said: "I
just don't understand how the police cannot shut down a
I understand the context of his statements, but the judge, despite his
distinguished legal background, has the wrong target.
[continues 344 words]
Homicide victim attacked outside after looking for place to smoke pot,
Police believe a teen who was fatally stabbed in Vanier was just
looking for a place to smoke weed purchased at an illegal dispensary
when he wound up inside a crack den, the Citizen has learned.
Zakaria Iqbal, just 18 years old and a Gloucester High School student,
died Monday night after an attack on Montreal Road.
Detectives believe that Iqbal and his friends purchased marijuana at
Dr. Greenthumb dispensary, also on Montreal Road. Employees at the
dispensary said police visited the pot shop Tuesday as part of their
homicide investigation, asking questions about who was there and when.
[continues 562 words]
An audit released Monday by the Windsor Police Services Board shows
the recent handling of evidence in cases involving street drugs has
been in compliance and largely free of errors.
But the audit performed over two months this summer by Ontario's
Ministry of Community, Safety and Correctional Services made 11
recommendations for improvements, and all but one have already been
implemented, said Chief Al Frederick.
The audit was triggered at the request of Frederick and the police
board following questions that were raised over the 2013 disappearance
of $25,000 in cocaine from a drug vault under officers' control.
[continues 244 words]
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.
[continues 162 words]
Having worked as a police officer for many years, I have to admit, it
requires a shift in thinking to look at marijuana as a legal substance.
Countless policing hours were dedicated to keeping it out of our
homes, schools and communities, but the future will be different.
Since the federal government announcement earlier this year, the law
enforcement community began work to determine what public safety
issues might arise with the availability of legal marijuana. Much of
the public discourse was simple: legalize it, regulate it, tax it and
use the revenues for everything, from health care to education
spending. Unfortunately, it is not that simple from a public safety
perspective, and the Delta police, along with our policing partners
have done a great deal of work to identify and address key issues.
[continues 302 words]
Alberta's police chiefs are feeling "overwhelmed" figuring out how to
adjust policing practices ahead of marijuana legalization, Edmonton
police Chief Rod Knecht said.
"The timelines are extremely tight," Knecht said outside an Edmonton
Police Commission meeting at city hall on Thursday.
In an open letter, the Alberta Association of Chiefs of Police warned
the scheduled July 1, 2018, legalization leaves "insufficient time for
the full consideration necessary in the creation of the regulatory
framework to ensure the safety of Albertans."
[continues 232 words]
When Justin Trudeau first floated his plan to legalize marijuana he
said that this was the best way to keep this dangerous drug away from
our children by curbing black market sales.
As we have seen with the sale of cigarettes, after tens of millions
spent fighting against organized crime's involvement selling illicit
smokes, the battle is far from won.
Organized crime is involved in growing and selling pot in Colorado and
Washington states and will do the same here. This has been made easier
for criminal groups, as anyone is entitled to grow four plants;
virtually impossible to police.
[continues 115 words]
Rick Hanson spent four decades in policing - more than seven of those
years as Calgary's chief - where he made a career out of fighting
organized crime and the local drug trade. Nearly three years into his
retirement, it may come as a surprise he is now involved in the
But Hanson said Wednesday he is among a growing number of former
senior police officers across Canada who are leveraging their
experiences to ensure legalization is done safely while eliminating
criminals from the supply chain.
[continues 549 words]
Legalizing marijuana will dramatically increase the workload for
police forces across the country, says Victoria Police Chief Del Manak.
"The Cannabis Act will legalize cannabis, and I can assure you that
the work for the police department and every police agency across this
country is going to exponentially increase," Manak told city
councillors during a budget workshop on Tuesday.
Efforts to keep drugs out of the hands of organized crime and youth
and to deal with drivers who are impaired by cannabis "will not happen
overnight," Manak said.
[continues 474 words]
Province receiving input on legalized marijuana rules
Police departments and local governments are asking British Columbia
for a cut of marijuana revenue as the province crafts regulations for
The provincial government asked for public input last month as it
develops new rules. Submissions are posted online and will be accepted
Feedback so far includes recommendations from Port Coquitlam and View
Royal, on Vancouver Island, for pot profits to be directed to
municipalities to address costs associated with enforcement.
[continues 514 words]
Courtenay's mayor has received death threats from people upset that
the RCMP shut down the community's first cannabis dispensary.
Mayor Larry Jangula said someone posted online comments threatening to
shoot him after inaccurate information that he had directed Comox
Valley RCMP to raid Leaf Compassion dispensary on Wednesday circulated
on social media.
"It's been a very upsetting day," Jangula said.
He said he has been threatened during his 27-year policing career, but
never in his role as mayor.
[continues 400 words]
Yet another progressive government obviously more concerned with
raking in expected windfalls from selling pot, rather than being
concerned over the potential harm to young people.
Studies in the U.K., the USA and Canada have conclusively shown young
people smoking pot run a greatly enhanced risk of damaging their
developing brains and suffering psychosis and other mental issues
later in life. Our own Canadian Medical Associate has stated nobody
should smoke this dangerous drug, containing 85 canninbinoids with
unknown long-term health and mental consequences, under 21.
[continues 213 words]
The legalization of cannabis and the challenge of detecting drivers
who are high on Ontario roads once the drug is legalized on Canada Day
next year is one of the many community safety subjects being discussed
at the Ontario Chiefs of Police board of directors meeting at the Four
Points by Sheraton in Kingston on Monday and Tuesday.
Some of the other items being discussed by the 18-member board include
public policy changes in Ontario, the future of policing, new
legislation on the Safer Strategy for Ontario, and further investment
in the Ontario Police College.
[continues 674 words]
A police raid on a new downtown London pot shop resulted from citizen
complaints, not because the illegal business was openly selling
cannabis to anyone older than 19, the city's police chief says.
Police swooped in on the London Relief Centre on Richmond Street last
Wednesday, less than two weeks after it opened in defiance of the law,
charging five staffers and seizing cannabis and cash.
But unlike the spring crackdown on pot shops, when police raided five
dispensaries across the city, last week's clampdown only targeted the
Richmond Row operation, leaving London's four other dispensaries unscathed.
[continues 340 words]
Police asking for more time before marijuana legalized, Troy Cooper
Police Chief Troy Cooper has gone from doubtful to critical on
Ottawa's marijuana plan, rejecting some key parts of the legislation
and saying he's "nervous" about next summer's legalization deadline.
Cooper has long seemed hesitant over marijuana legalization. Thursday,
the day of his speech to the Chamber of Commerce, was perhaps his
clearest expression of frustration over the pace of the federal plan -
which foresees legal weed by July 2018. "We've asked, as a police
service, please give us more time," he told the audience of local
business leaders gathered at the Wildlife Federation building.
[continues 614 words]
A police crackdown on London's most brazen new marijuana dispensary
was inevitable, and residents shouldn't expect legalization to put an
end to those raids, one pot advocate said.
Police descended on the London Relief Centre Wednesday morning,
arresting five. A woman who witnessed the raid said more than half a
dozen officers burst through the door about 10 a.m., yelling for
everyone to get out of the Richmond Row business.
"It was pretty scary. They just kind of came out of nowhere," said
Paula, a customer who didn't want to give her full name. "I'm still a
[continues 298 words]
Re: "Postpone legal pot, police exhort feds," Sept. 13.
The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police seem to see their role as
being an obstruction to the implementation of public policy. To this
end, they want a delay of at least six months in the legalization of
marijuana. They say this is necessary in order to train officers and
certify more officers to conduct roadside tests.
Their overriding concern with the legalization of marijuana is a
dramatic increase in the number of people driving stoned. Let me
assure them this will not happen. They can sleep peacefully, without
the fear that hordes of stoned zombies are suddenly going to be
driving amok on our streets. Nothing is going to change. The simple
fact is, people have been getting high for 50 years. The reason
marijuana is being legalized is because almost everyone already uses
[continues 77 words]
Canada's police services say there is zero chance they will be ready
to enforce new laws for legalized marijuana by next summer.
Officials from the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, Ontario
Provincial Police and the Saskatoon Police Service are among dozens of
witnesses testifying to the House of Commons health committee this
week as it studies the government's bill to legalize marijuana.
They said on Tuesday they need more time to properly train officers
about the new laws and more than double the number of police officers
who are certified to conduct roadside drug-impaired driving testing.
There also needs to be more time for public education, the police said.
[continues 499 words]