Manitoba

Winnipeg police will be allowed to toke up — off the clock — come Oct. 17

Winnipeg police can consume cannabis come Oct. 17, and won't be subject to the strict policies some police forces have issued.

Officers have to be fit for duty, but won't be subject to any ban on recreational pot, force confirms

Winnipeg police will be able to smoke marijuana once it becomes legal on Wednesday, the force confirmed. (Joe Mahoney/Canadian Press)

Winnipeg police can consume cannabis come Oct. 17, and won't be subject to the strict policies some police forces have issued.

A release from the Winnipeg Police Service says all employees must be fit for duty, "regardless of the cause of impairment."

The Winnipeg Police Service is also making sure its employees have the information they need on the personal impact of cannabis use, changes in the law, enforcement, and updated supervisor training, the release says. 

Last week, Winnipeg Police Association president Maurice Sabourin said the force was looking at modifying its existing policy around impairment from other substances, including alcohol and medication, which simply stipulates that officers must be fit for duty.

"Fit for duty, I think the easiest way you could say, is you're showing up for work and you're not impaired by anything, whether it be alcohol, whether it be marijuana, or whether it be cold medication," he said.

Rules around whether police officers can smoke pot or not vary from city to city across the country.

In Toronto, officers will be prohibited from using recreational marijuana within 28 days of reporting for duty. The same rules will apply for RCMP.

In Calgary, officers won't be allowed to consume it at all.

Sabourin argued those rules infringe too much upon what officers can legally do in their spare time.

"How can an employer impart how an employee, what they do in their off time?" he said. "I'm sure our members are responsible enough to know they can't be coming to work in an impaired state."

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