Sudbury police chief concerned about training for officers in advance of marijuana legalization

Sudbury’s police chief says the department is running out of time to prepare for marijuana legalization.
The federal government is in the process of legalizing marijuana. (Chanss Lagaden/CBC)

The Greater Sudbury Police Service is running out of time to prepare for marijuana legalization.

Chief Paul Pedersen says there still isn't enough information from the federal government about training and equipment for drug detection.

The federal government expects to legalize marijuana by July. In Ontario, the drug will be sold online and at government-run retail stores.

Pedersen says the province has been out in front of the rest of the country with its cannabis legislation.

"You know, so there's some comfort level from that," he said.

"The back end piece is the stuff that we're still asking questions about, and that's the criminal piece of it, the federal legislation, the training that has to come."

Pedersen says police are waiting to hear more about the criminal aspects of the legislation, including how officers will test for impairment and how they'll interpret any new regulations on the job.

Pedersen is concerned about how officers will be trained in time for the legalization.

"Taking people away from front-line duties for multiple days, multiple weeks, when there's only multiple days and multiple weeks left between now and the legislation, is concerning," he said.

Pedersen says officers will have to be pulled out of their regular duties for any related training, but adds there's now a limited time left to make that happen.

With files from Robin De Angelis