Ready or not, pot’s now legal

After treating marijuana use and possession as an illegal drug for decades, Canadians now have to change their thinking from this day forward, as what had been called a “gateway drug” is now legal for recreational use, not just medicinal use.
The change in thinking is particularly complicated where police agencies are concerned, because they were the enforcers of the law which said this was not a legal drug to have, use or to grow.
Now this drug is legal, within certain conditions, and it will be part of the police agencies’ job to sort out when it is and is not legal to have or use.
Of particular worry to the police is finding drivers who are impaired by the drug, which is a crime just as being impaired by alcohol is.
It’s also illegal for any youth to have or to use, like alcohol, and it’s illegal to smoke the drug in a public place.
So really, is pot use just like alcohol?
No, not really, and it’s the differences that are going to make the job of the police much more complicated, requiring quite a bit of training, and trying out of new equipment, including a saliva test unit to see if a driver has the THC drug in his or her system when stopped by the police.
The Weyburn police and RCMP, and every law enforcement agency across Canada, has had to expend millions of dollars and many hours of training and planning, all for the end result of allowing marijuana to be used as a recreational drug. Never mind that there are many real, actual needs in this country, such as infrastructure, education and health care that could have made real use of that money, so long as pot users can now have their drug without fear of arrest.
There are complicating factors like the unenforceable provision to allow people to grow up to four plants in their homes, which could easily be abused, and unless the police goes into every home to look, there is no way really to enforce this.
There is also the myth of the Liberals that somehow making the drug legal is going to cut organized crime out of the picture. The reality is, it will only give them a new opportunity to stay in the dealing game, particularly if retail outlets are slow to open, or are too pricy.
For most people, life will go on as it has before, but for law enforcement, this will complicate their work and add onto their workload. Hopefully all of their efforts won’t just ‘go up in smoke’.

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