Police chief states position on pot
Calgary's police chief weighed in on the debate to decriminalize marijuana in Canada and says he is opposed to the idea.
Police chiefs from across the country met in Winnipeg last week and said handing out tickets for illegal possession of marijuana may be more efficient than laying criminal charges.
Some say the move could be a stepping stone to decriminalization which the chiefs’ association does not support.
Calgary’s police chief Rick Hanson spoke to CTV News and says he does not support decriminalization either but he does support streamlining the process.
“Currently when we charge someone with possession of marijuana, like they’re sitting in Olympic Plaza smoking up, if we charge them we have to send the pot away to be analyzed, then we get a certificate of analysis back, we have to search and find the guy, serve him with the certificate of analysis and it’s hugely complicated. I think anybody from Crown Prosecutors, judges, defence lawyers; they know what a bag of weed is, so you want to streamline the system? Seize the exhibit, write them an appearance notice, and then bring it to court and if there is a disagreement in regard to whether its parsley or not, then send it away for analysis, but there’s never a disagreement now, everyone knows what weed is, what it looks like, what it smells like,” said Chief Hanson.
Hanson admits calls to police more frequently involve alcohol than pot but says decriminalization sends the message to young people that smoking pot is safe and he says lawmakers need to look at the science and consequences before making a decision.
“It’s an issue about decriminalizing something that sends a message out to the community that this is safe when, as more and more research gets into the effects of any drug on brain development especially at early ages, we’d better go into this with our eyes wide open and not pretend that somehow, legalizing a drug is going to eradicate the national debt, get rid of organized crime, everybody will be healthy, happy and mellow. That’s just not the case,” said Hanson.
To see the entire, raw interview with Calgary Police Chief Rick Hanson click here.