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Lower Mainland police join calls for delay to pot legalization

(iStock Photo)

ABBOTSFORD (NEWS 1130) – Some Lower Mainland police departments are joining calls for the federal government to postpone the implementation of its plan to legalize marijuana.

Abbotsford police Deputy Chief Mike Serr says police won’t be ready when pot becomes legal next summer.

Serr says step one is knowing exactly what the new laws will be.

“Until we really have a fulsome understanding of the different legislation at all levels of government, we’re really not in a position to train and be fully prepared in just over seven or eight months from now.

Using Colorado’s legal pot regime as an example, Seer says police are expecting a lot more calls for service after July 1st. He says they’ll also need a lot more drug recognition experts. That training is expensive and only available in the US right now.

Serr says police want to ramp up public education campaigns as well.

“Right now we’re still waiting for a lot of the legislation to be developed, so even at the federal level but more so at the provincial level and municipal level, we do not know exactly what we need to train our members on.”

The Vancouver Police Department is mirroring these concerns.

The government introduced bill C-45 in the spring in preparation for an expected July 2018 date for adult Canadians to be allowed to buy pot at provincially mandated stores, possess up to 30 grams of marijuana or grow up to four plants at home.

The legalization bill could pass through the House this fall. So far, the Liberals have not agreed to any amendments to their bill.