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Canadian Cops Claim They Won't Be Ready for Marijuana Legalization by 2018

The government insists it's sticking to its timeline.

GoToVan/flickrGoToVan/flickrThe Canadian government plans to legalize marijuana by July 2018, fulfilling a pledge made by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau before he was elected prime minister. But police are urging Parliament to delay the legalization effort, insisting they need more time to learn how to enforce the new laws.

"We are asking that the government consider giving us more time to have all the legislation fully in place which will allow us to properly train, prepare for implementation on Day 1," Mike Serr of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police told a parliamentary health committee this week.

This request was reinforced by testimony from Kevin Sabet, a longtime drug warrior who runs a major anti-legalization organization in the U.S. Sabet insisted that only those looking to go into business in the marijuana industry want the process to go quickly.

Tell it to the 160 people a day arrested in Canada for pot possession.

Serr's argument is similarly silly. His group brings up the role of "organized crime" in the marijuana trade, as if not understanding how criminalizing a product criminalizes those trading in it.

Nevertheless, Canadian officials—like their counterparts in Colorado and Washington—intend to institute strict "security screenings" for those looking to enter the marketplace, making it harder for black-market entrepreneurs to go legit. They also want tight regulations of the industry, including sales taxes, licensing fees, and packaging requirements.

The parliamentary committee also heard testimony from the director of Washington's state liquor and cannabis board, Rick Garza, who said legal marijuana businesses were able to compete with the black market once legal prices fell to $10 per gram. According to Garza, legal prices in his state are down to about $7.50 a gram. The clear lesson: Canada should let black marketeers come in from the shadows, not create a heavily regulated parallel industry.

Canada's public safety minister, Ralph Goodale, says the government plans to stick to its 2018 timetable for legalization.

Photo Credit: GoToVan/flickr

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  • Hugh Akston||

    Serious question about Kevin Sabet: when he looks into the mirror, do you think he sees his eyes as milky blank voids, or as actual holes that he can see his brain through?

  • AlmightyJB||

    Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the most retarded asshole of them all? You are Sabet, you stupid prick.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Brain?

  • Marty Feldman's Eyes||

    His eyes are like two limpid pools of WD-40.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Yeah, I was also thinking inky puddles of viscous black tar eternally threatening to bubble over and drown him in his own bilious corruption.

  • Telcontar the (Obama) Birther||

    Aaand Redtube's going to have 1 less visitor tonight.

  • Uncle Jay||

    RE: Canadian Cops Claim They Won't Be Ready for Marijuana Legalization by 2018

    That's understandable.
    This way the cops in Canada can be trained not exhale, run for the executive office, and then claim they didn't blow any smoke out.

  • Sheriff Bart||

    Wood...

  • DRM||

    Yeah, Trudeau's government is claiming it'll stick to its July 2018 timetable. While failing to explain, to anybody at all, how it's going to deal with the fact that it's party to three international treaties that prohibit marijuana (and which require a year's notice before withdrawal that hasn't been given yet).

    The only people who actually believe that the Canadian Senate will muster a majority to pass a bill that causes Canada to violate its treaty obligations in order to meet the July deadline . . . aw, hell, the joke's too easy.

  • ||

    Wait, are you suggesting that Junior wants to pretend that he's totes cool with legalization but really wants to sabotage it through legalities and procedures? "damn, I totally wanted you cool kids to have your reefer but the FBI, the CIA and the RCMP wouldn't let me."

  • Sports Reporter Charles Manson||

    This is BS, he could have denounced the treaties by now and Canada would be on its way out the door of the treaty regime.

    I don't know much about Canadian politics, but I'm not sure how serious he is about this whole thing.

  • ||

    I'm petty sure he wants to keep looking cool to the people in his own riding while allowing cover to Liberal MPs from outside the city limits of Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver to run as serious "law and order" types who will crack down on those pothead deviants.

  • Sports Reporter Charles Manson||

    Speaking of riding, what do you think of his mom?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I say the same thing about rape. Men need time to process and implement the new rules about sexual assault. You can't just spring it on everyone and expect training on how not to rape to be immediately up to speed.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Expediency such as this is how you get good officers, good men, tripping up and falling dick first into some in-consenting whore.

  • ||

    If the cops need several years to figure how to "enforce" the legalization of something, you didn't legalize it right.

  • AlmightyJB||

    They need to come up with another bogus reason to harass people first. Pigs gotta oink.

  • Marty Feldman's Eyes||

    You get this crap in the states as well. Police and politicians act like it's some huge problem. One day you just stop arresting/searching people for this particular thing. There, see, that wasn't so hard now was it. Well, except for helping revive themselves off the fainting couch.

  • macsnafu||

    Yep, it's strange that they need so much preparation to DO LESS, rather than if they were taking on some additional duty.
    I guess Canadian LEO's will have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the new period of legalization, like little kids denied their toys.

  • DajjaI||

    I'd also like more time to be ready for 2018.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Needz MOAR woodchippers.

  • Tony||

    It's called inertia. One does not simply stop arresting people for smoking pot any more than one stops rolling down a hill.

  • Grumpy Bear||

    Yes, the only people who want marijuana legalization to move quickly is the people SELLING marijuana.

    Because, as we all know, when you sell a product, you don't need anyone to BUY it.

    Remind me again what Kevin Sabet is an expert in, besides ill-conceived propaganda?

  • Longtobefree||

    Here is the training manual:
    Old way: see someone smoking weed. Arrest them.
    New way: see someone smoking weed. Tip your hat and say 'have a nice day'.

    (It ain't that hard, guys)
    I hereby waive my normal consulting fee for this work.
    Enjoy 2018.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Also, I wouldn't be surprised if the way that the government is legalizing it is exceptionally byzantine leading to these complaints of confusion.

    I wish the law was so simple as removing preexisting bans, but there is no hope for that these days.

  • ||

    I suspect that part of the problem is that Junior expected some kind of tax windfall from MJ in the same way that Senior expected to finance his ambitious welfare state with revenues from Alberta oil. The end result was that Liberals became as rare in Alberta as flamingos in Nunavut.

  • ||

    The lesson unlearned here is that "bootlegging" was nearly as prevalent during the years that "revenooers" were pursuing "'shiners" for unpaid taxes as it was when "Prohis" were chasing smugglers and producers of illegal alcohol.

  • Telcontar the (Obama) Birther||

    Sound, check. Fury, check. Nothing signified, check check and *check*.

  • Sports Reporter Charles Manson||

    BOB:

    Oh, Canada,
    Our stoned and native land! [take it, Doug]

    DOUG:

    Pure homegrown weed is what your sons command.
    With glowing bongs we see thee rise,
    The True North strong and free!

    BOB:

    From far and wide,
    O Canada, we're stoned 'til we can't see.

    DOUG:

    Is that the best you could come up with, eh?

    BOB:

    I don't really like dope, I just don't want people arrested for it. Maybe I could come up with better lyrics for a substance I really liked...such as beer, eh?

  • Bubba Jones||

    Interesting predicament if they ban everyone with prior experience selling marijuana. Can't admit that they were actually right all along.

  • Sports Reporter Charles Manson||

    "Cops want additional people to go into the marijuana business."

  • Trollificus||

    Viewing police work as a business providing
    a) billable hours for lawyers,
    b) clients for legal system administrators, judges, "expert witnesses", etc., and
    c) client referrals to penal institutions
    works as a model that has significant explanatory and predictive power for what otherwise seems like a batshit insane system.

    To the point of making asset forfeiture look like a mere "innovative diversification of our law enforcement product portfolio".

    I also find the cynical view that it's just rock-solid corruption all the way down less depressing than the possibility that these people have grown to adulthood so incapable of braining that they believe the bullshit they spout (ref: Sabet, K.)

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