The Canadian Armed Forces has sought to reassure allies about the pending legalization of marijuana amid questions in other capitals about the potential impact on future military operations.
The outreach follows last week’s release of a new military policy that limits cannabis use to within Canada and imposes various time limits and other restrictions depending on a service member’s current job and responsibilities.
The military’s chief of personnel, Lt.-Gen. Charles Lamarre, said allies in particular watched with extreme curiosity as Canada and the Forces have marched toward legalization on Oct. 17.
The real question for many, he told The Canadian Press following a panel discussion hosted by the Canadian Defence Associations Institute: “How is it going to affect you operationally?”
To that end, Lamarre said he has laid out the Forces’ new policy to counterparts from the so-called Five Eyes – the U.S., Britain, Australia and New Zealand, who represent Canada’s closest military and security partners.
One did question why the Forces didn’t ban marijuana entirely, to which Lamarre explained the military was required to balance service members’ rights as citizens with the safety and security of people, equipment and missions.