(January 29th, 2018) OTTAWA, ON – Bob Saroya Member of Parliament for Markham-Unionville, is alarmed by the lack of funding and training for law enforcement as the Liberals race towards marijuana legalization.
“The Liberal government is seriously underfunding law enforcement’s ability to deal with marijuana legalization across Canada. In a municipality like York Region, they have earmarked $300 000 a year. This is peanuts if you consider the estimated cost of training and equipment will be $20 million.”
Mr. Saroya spoke to this issue at length in the House of Commons. “Marijuana legalization is the most significant change to Canada’s laws since the end of the prohibition of alcohol. The federal and provincial governments have failed to ensure sufficient time and funding has been allocated for law enforcement.”
“There is a significant deficit of officers trained in standardized field sobriety testing and drug recognition. The capacity for training is simply not there. I am calling on the government to partner with law enforcement and eliminate the reliance on training only available in the United States.”
The Attorney General of Canada has yet to approve oral fluid drug screening devices and training cannot begin until they are. Canadians expect the same level of policing of drug impaired driving as alcohol impaired driving. Many marijuana cases and criminal charges have been dropped in significant numbers, around 40%. The courts are not enforcing the laws on the books. What message does this send to society?
Why would anyone looking to get high buy less potent marijuana sold over the table? 40 marijuana shops by 2018 or 150 by 2020 will not disrupt the illegal marijuana trade.
I hear from constituents almost daily, who are disgusted by the odour of marijuana coming from their neighbour’s home or condo unit. It’s unacceptable that property owners and renters are no protected under the law,” he concluded.