One of London’s highest ranking police officers says he’s concerned about the findings of a federal task force on legalizing recreational marijuana.
The body took five months to study the issue and issued a number of recommendations Tuesday, including that pot shouldn’t be sold in the same location as alcohol or tobacco, and that production should be monitored with a “seed-to-sale tracking system” to prevent diversions to the black market.
Deputy Police Chief Daryl Longworth says one of their biggest concerns with the legalization of recreational pot use is how it will impact impaired driving statistics.
“One of the hurdles that the government is going to have deal with is the ability to do roadside screening, the ability to do some roadside impairment tests, and what that would look like,” said Longworth.
“We’ve seen, whether the data’s in Canada or not, we’ve certainly seen from our American partners, the states that have legalized it, that’s one issue they’ve struggled with, was what they saw was the increase in driving while impairment by drug.”
According to the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, a 2010 study shows nearly as many drivers died in road crashes after using drugs (34.2%) as those who had been drinking (39.1%). The group says drug-impaired drivers can be detected by police officers who are trained and certified as Drug Recognition Experts, but there is not currently a standardized roadside test available.
The federal task force recommends setting a limit of 30 grams for the personal possession of non-medical dried cannabis in public, with corresponding limits on how much a store could sell to a customer.