RNC chief says tickets better for some pot offences
The chief of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary says police officers should be able to write a ticket for some cases of marijuana possession.
Bob Johnston is one of the chiefs pushing Ottawa to allow police more options to deal with pot offences.
Johnston said right now, if someone is caught smoking a joint, an officer can either ignore it — or proceed with criminal charges.
He said in some cases, giving out a ticket would work better.
"I think by bringing in a ticketing system we are going to be more efficient, more effective — we are not going to impact somebody in terms of job opportunities, travelling or even citizenship, " Johnston said Monday.
Meanwhile, Johnston would not say whether or not he agrees with decriminalization.
Johnston told CBC News he has never smoked a joint, but admits that's not the case for most RNC officers.
"I can tell you, the majority of people that come through our program have at some point in their life — in their youth smoked marijuana — so we want people who represent our community" he said.
Johnston says police officers have to stop using pot for six months prior to joining the force.
Delegates at the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police annual meeting last week passed a resolution that says officers need more enforcement options to deal with people caught with pot.