Calgary Police No Longer See Small Scale Pot Crimes as a Priority in the Run Up to Legalization

Article by Michael Platt, Calgary Sun

From busting wasteheads to waste of time, police no longer see pot as priority

A blind eye to your beet-red ones.

It’s an admission Calgary police are loathe to make, even weeks before federal legislation is expected to be tabled making marijuana legal and ending 94-years of law enforcement focused on wiping out the wicked weed.

If Ottawa follows through on its promise, personal possession of a little reefer will soon be as acceptable as carrying a bottle of wine or case of beer, and that leaves officers across Canada in the awkward position of policing a Schedule II controlled drug that soon won’t be anything of the sort.

Logically, nabbing the wasted is a waste of time — but marijuana is still illegal, and the law doesn’t always rest on logic.

It explains why pot remains the number one narcotic taken in by Calgary police, with the most recent statistics from 2016 showing 655 marijuana seizures, versus 537 involving methamphetamine and 444 seizures of cocaine.

Pot is a very popular drug, and officers almost always find marijuana as part of the narcotic smorgasbord when making arrests for other substances like opioids — and when you’re laying charges for one illegal narcotic, you can’t overlook the leafy green one laying alongside.

And so big-league dealers and other dirtbags are still being caught and charged with marijuana possession.

But what about your average citizen?

That’s where the situation becomes hazy.

Staff Sgt. Martin Schiavetta doesn’t want to go there, and he prefers talking about the drugs that are proving a serious menace in Calgary right now.

Read full article here.

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