Article by CBC News
Winnipeg’s police chief says there will be some transitioning in his drug units as the legalized use of recreational marijuana in Canada comes closer.
Chief Danny Smyth told media Friday that police are making changes to focus more on the surge of methamphetamine and fentanyl on Winnipeg’s streets.
“We have a dedicated marijuana grow team, for example, and over time we will transition them away from that focus,” said Smyth. “We’re really trying to adapt to the environment that’s seen the emergence of meth profoundly in our community.”
The federal government is moving toward cannabis legalization this summer. It will be sold as a substance regulated, like alcohol, by each provincial government.
Manitoba’s rules say that people will have to be 19 years or older to purchase it and they won’t be allowed to grow pot at home unless they have a medicinal usage licence.
The focus for police on meth and fentanyl has less to do with pot and more to do with the sudden availability of inexpensive meth, Smyth says.
“Meth has become very cheap and a lot of people are getting into it that probably wouldn’t have 10 years ago,” he said. “So we’re kind of cobbling our resources and deploying them in a different way.”