Nfld. & Labrador

Marijuana impairment 'a big concern' as RNC officer starts work on pot legalization

Supt. Marlene Jesso looks ahead to her role as one of nine Canadians chosen for a task force on regulating and legalizing marijuana in the country.
RNC Supt. Marlene Jesso heads to Ottawa next week to hammer out details of her involvement with the national task force. (CBC)

A Royal Newfoundland Constabulary officer recently named to a task force on legalizing and regulating marijuana says one of the biggest hurdles they face is dealing with impairment.

"I do believe it's going to be a big concern," Supt. Marlene Jesso told CBC Radio's St. John's Morning Show.

"That's something we'll have to look at as a task force, and see if we can come up with certain ways and different ways to be able to do that, because that, I think, may be a major issue in relation to the legalization of marijuana."

Jesso, a 33-year police veteran, is one of nine Canadians chosen to serve on the federal government`s task force for the legalization of the drug, an appointment she accepted last week from Minister of Public Safety Ralph Goodale.

"It's not everyday you get asked to change Canadian policy, so it is a big deal for me and I'll take the job very seriously," she said.

Add your voice

Jesso heads to Ottawa next week to hammer out her workload and schedule, which will include speaking to experts, special interest groups and ordinary Canadians.

A major component of the task force will be sifting through people's feedback on a discussion paper that asks numerous questions such as keeping marijuana away from minors, organized crime, and how to best regulate its distribution.

The discussion paper and feedback forms are posted on Health Canada's website.

"What we'll be doing is encouraging Canadians to go to the website, give us their perspectives and advice on the questions at hand, and we'll be doing consultations across Canada," she said.

At the end of her role, Jesso and the other task force members will submit a paper with their recommendations on the issue to the federal government, expected in November.

With files from the St. John's Morning Show