Regina’s Police Chief, Evan Bray, has been saying the service is ready for legalization – talking about the training officers have been getting and the implementation of new rules.
Speaking on Gormley Wednesday morning, he said most of the provincial regulations are ticketable offenses.
“Which is obviously, if we’re looking at simple possession problems or selling to a minor, those types of things.”
Breaking federal rules gets into the territory of criminal charges.
Bray said while marijuana being legal is new, police officers already have a lot of experience in spotting and dealing with impaired drivers
“We understand how to investigate an impaired driver. We’ve been laying charges for impairment due to drugs for many years.”
Bray also answered several questions from Gormley and listeners.
Bray said he spoke to an officer in Denver, Colo., where marijuana has been legal for a few years. That officer told Bray many of the impaired drivers they catch are impaired by both drug and alcohol.
Bray explained there is a charge for both, and the threshold is lower than for a charge if a person were impaired by just one.
According to Bray, a dual impaired charge could be laid if a person tested with between 2.5 nanograms and 5 ng per 100 ml of blood for marijuana, plus 0.05 blood alcohol level.
Smoking in public
For most people, lighting up a joint in public is a no-no and can be met with a $200 fine.
However, Bray said that doesn’t apply if a person has a medical marijuana license.
He explained it’s okay if the person can provide proof of their prescription or license to use the drug for medicinal purposes.
Bray didn’t provide much reassurance for people who use medicinal marijuana but still drive.
He said because of the lower levels of THC in medicinal products, some patients may ending testing over the limit for driving, but not necessarily be impaired.
Bray said patients will have to work with their doctors to find what works best for them.
But he also said that, as with anything, if a person is impaired then they shouldn’t get behind the wheel.
A person can only have 30 grams of pot on them at one time in public, Bray said they had thought about getting scales for supervisory police vehicles.
But Bray alluded to the idea that officers won’t necessarily be policing possession down to the gram.
“In my view, if it looks close, it’s probably going to be close enough.”
Bray said, speaking for himself, that he generally knows what 30 grams of dried pot looks like, and officers have been trained in that as well.
However, if someone has a bale of pot in their possession, Bray said it will be confiscated, 30 grams measured out and returned to the person, and then they would likely be charged with over-possession for the rest.