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HomeNewsChief impressed with Provinces plan for policing legal pot sales

Chief impressed with Provinces plan for policing legal pot sales

KAWARTHA LAKES-The City of Kawartha Lakes was chosen to be one of the first municipalities in the Province to host a retail pot shop. Police Chief John Hagarty says he’s seen some of the Provinces plan to police legal marijuana and he’s impressed. “I’m very impressed with the information provided by Ministry of Finance and the LCBO and the Attorney General,” Chief John Hagarty told the Police Services Board. “Society, through federal government has decided that cannabis is going to be a legal product and so that I can sleep at night I am viewing it as an intoxicant much like alcohol is an intoxicant and perhaps some prescription drugs are intoxicants. When I view it as an intoxicant, and when I view it as a legal product and when I look at how it is going to be sold in retail stores, I become more and more comfortable with it.”

Cannabis is scheduled to become legal in Canada on July 1st 2018.  Hagarty gave the board a glimpse into how the government plans on selling and policing legal weed. “I recall a day where there was a business called Consumers Distributing where you would go into a store and look at product and then you would fill out a form and they would go get that product and bring it to you,” Hagarty explained.  “This will be very similar, once you identify yourself with photo identification you are going to be able to go in and look at a sample and decide how many grams you are going to order. Its pre-packaged, you go to another area and you will pay and receive (the product) and then leave through another door.”

Hagarty says enforcement will be similar to the Liquor Control Act and the Tobacco Act. “The other overlapping components of this is much like the Liquor Control Act, you can’t walk down Kent street with a can of beer, and if you do there’s a provincial offence ticket that goes along with it, similarly with smoking a marijuana joint, same rule will apply.” he said. “Similar with the Tobacco Control act, there are very strict limits on where you can smoke a cigarette that will overlap with with marijuana as well, so its not going to occur in the restaurant or on the patio.”

Hagarty say the plan includes a legal purchasing age of 19 years and there will be no one under age allowed in the stores even with their parents. As it stands right now the retail stores cannot be paired up with an LCBO and cannot be right next door but can be in the same neighbourhood.

The locations will need to be nailed down by April in order to have renovations completed by July 1st according to Hagarty.

According to the Chief, legalization will not have a significant impact on the police service. The challenge will be in detecting people driving high. “The drug recognition response is not sufficient at all, in my opinion, of managing drivers while high and we need a tool similar to roadside screening device used for alcohol and were not there yet in Canada.”

He says the problem with detection lies in how long the the level of THC will remain in your system and how they calculate impairment based on that. THC is the psychoactive agent in pot.

The province hopes to have 40 retail stores open by July first, another 40 open within a year and 150 in total. It will also be sold online.




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Pamela Vanmeerhttps://www.kawartha411.ca/
Pamela VanMeer is a two time winner of the prestigious Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) Award. Her investigative reports on abuse in Long Term Care Homes garnered international attention for the issue and won the Ron Laidlaw Award. She is a former reporter and anchor at CHEX News, now Global Peterborough and helped launch the New CHEX Daily, a daily half hour talk show. While at CHCH News in Hamilton she covered some of the biggest news stories of the day.

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