Police association head slams 'beyond ridiculous' pot rules for Mounties
A police officer is seen in this undated photo.
Published Wednesday, October 10, 2018 6:00PM PDT
Last Updated Wednesday, October 10, 2018 7:28PM PDT
With just a week until recreational marijuana becomes legal in Canada, the president of the association that represents the country's police officers is speaking out against rules that will virtually prohibit Mounties from using pot while off-duty.
The RCMP is set to impose a rule that would bar its officers from using cannabis within 28 days of a shift.
In a tweet Monday, Canadian Police Association head Tom Stamatakis called the move "beyond ridiculous," adding that the policy "has nothing to do with protecting members or public."
The news comes as police forces across the country release their rules for when their officers can use pot.
The Vancouver Police Department represents the other end of the spectrum compared to the RCMP.
Rather than setting strict time limits for when staff can use cannabis, the force has adopted what it calls a "fit for duty" approach that ultimately leaves it up to the officers to make sure they're ready to work.
"We need our officers to show up fit for duty, and that's the only requirement we have," Doucette said. "In the end, public safety and the safety of our officers is number one. All of our officers understand and we're not anticipating any issues whatsoever."
According to Doucette, the VPD decided on this approach after consultations with police unions and health professionals. The same protocol applies when it comes to alcohol and prescription drugs.
The department is also in the process of compiling a database of information and resources intended to help its officers make sound decisions when it comes to their cannabis consumption.
"We want our employees to make an informed decision if they choose to use and to make sure that they're fit for duty when they show up," Doucette said.
Police in Port Moody have adopted a similar approach to the VPD.
Other forces land somewhere in between. Cops in Abbotsford and West Vancouver, for example, won't be allowed to use marijuana within 24 hours of a shift.
The Delta Police Department is set to vote on plans for its pot rules on Thursday.
With files from CTV Vancouver's Allison Hurst and The Canadian Press