In a move that is surely intended to give all of us a schadenfreude overdose, some Canadian cops are mad that the police won’t let them smoke weed.
Yup, in the great topsy-turvy world that is Canada’s forthcoming legalization, one of the most interesting things has been watching cops deal with it. Now, with legalization just a week away, some cops are finding out that their employer (the man) isn’t exactly the hippest fella on the block when it comes to cannabis.
The Mounties are going to be announcing their marijuana policy later this week. It’s expected that they will be bringing in strict anti-toking rules—a 28-day rule from when their officers smoke up to when they start a shift. This would effectively ban Mounties from using weed, unless they plan on taking a month off after taking a hit.
The RCMP is not the only police force taking a rather strong approach. Other jurisdictions, like Toronto, are seemingly eyeing similar or harsher rules. The Calgary Police force has gone perhaps the furthest, by banning officers completely from getting high in their own time.
"Sworn members who are qualified to use firearms and are able to be operationally deployed are prohibited from using recreational cannabis while on or off duty," reads a portion of the policy, which was reported on by the CBC.
This, however, isn’t sitting well with some officers and those who represent them. On Twitter, Tom Stamatakis, president of the Canadian Police Association, said that the 28-day ban is “beyond ridiculous; has nothing to do with protecting members or public.” Stamatakis said if the RCMP was really concerned about this issue they would “create similar prohibition for excessively long extended shifts, consecutive work days, overtime & on call” because fatigue’s impairing effect is well known. Damn.
Not all police are cut from the same blue cloth though: Police forces in Ottawa and Vancouver treat smoking up much like alcohol—as long as you don’t come in ripped outta your tree you’re good—which seems like a sensible approach.
Speaking to the Canadian Press, Stamatakis said the strict rules is disrespectful to the police.
“Effectively what they’re saying is, we don’t trust police officers to make the right decision when it comes to reporting for work fit for duty,” Stamatakis told CP. “And I just find that to be an offensive approach.”
Anyway, we still won’t feel bad for cops.
Sign up for the VICE Canada Newsletter to get the best of VICE Canada delivered to your inbox.
Follow Mack Lamoureux on Twitter .