Pop quiz: what does 30 grams of marijuana look like?
It’s not an abstract question. Under the federal government’s proposed cannabis legalization plan, 30 grams of dried marijuana is the maximum a person can legally possess in a public place. Carry any more and you could be subject to fines, jail time, or both.
Policing quantities is a big shift for police officers, who are used to viewing any amount of pot as a potential red flag, said Sandy Sweet of the Canadian Police Knowledge Network, an agency that provides online training courses for police officers.
“Now it’s [going to be] a legal substance. They have to move on. So we have to train every police officer in the country what the law says they’re allowed to do and not allowed to do in these new scenarios.”
And while there’s still plenty of uncertainty swirling about legalization — the exact timing, the possibility that the Senate will try to change the proposed law, the potential impact on the police — behind the scenes, policing experts are trying to figure out how best to get officers ready.
Sweet’s group has been working with the RCMP and the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police to design online training for all of Canada’s roughly 69,000 police officers; the plan is to launch the training by July.