Nova Scotia

Legalized marijuana 'doesn't make it safe,' says Halifax deputy police chief

While many are eager to learn if Justin Trudeau’s government will make good on its promise to legalize marijuana, Halifax’s deputy chief of police says everything from enforcing impaired driving to smoking regulations is about to get a whole lot more complicated.

Trudeau says his government will keep pot out of the hands of children, profits out of hands of criminals

Halifax deputy police chief Bill Moore says he's concerned about the many grey areas and questions raised in world where pot is decriminalized. (CBC)

While many are eager to learn if Trudeau's government will make good on its promise to legalize marijuana, Halifax's deputy chief of police says everything from enforcing impaired driving to smoking regulations is about to get a whole lot more complicated.

"Just because it's legal, doesn't make it safe," said Bill Moore.

"I don't think the discussion has meant decriminalization is a free for all. I don't think that's where we're going. Hopefully not."

During the election, Justin Trudeau promised legalization would keep pot out of the hands of children and profits out of the hands of criminals. 

Moore shares those concerns and also worries more people will be smoking a joint while driving. 

"Do people understand what their level of impairment is, 'how much can I smoke before I become impaired?'" said Moore.

"When it was illegal, we wouldn't have this discussion because people wouldn't want to have it." 

'We're not going to lay off our drug section'

He says officers are trained to look for behavioural signs of impairment. But there is no THC breathalyzer used in Canada, nor has a legal limit been established for THC — the active ingredient in pot.

Moore has as many scenarios as he does questions. 

"I come out for my smoke break, light up my cigarette and you light up a doobie. So are we going to have marijuana smoking areas and tobacco smoking areas? I don't have the answers. These are the practical pieces that come around." 

With a Liberal majority, Moore says he hopes the government will take its time introducing the new law. 

"Even with regulated supply in tobacco and alcohol, we still have illegal tobacco and illegal alcohol. So, I fully expect there will still be an illegal marijuana trade," he said.

"We're not going to lay off our drug section. We're still going to have some work to do."

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversationCreate account

Already have an account?

now