While Canadians are eagerly awaiting the implementation of the Cannabis Act in October, police departments are doing their own preparations.
Canada’s police has been worried about not having enough time to train their officers and to get them ready for full cannabis legalization. To address this, a new online cannabis training course for law enforcement officials has been launched.
The training course is aimed at speeding up the process of preparation for Canada’s law enforcement agencies. It is designed to educate the police about how they can enforce the rules and regulations under the Cannabis Act.
Each year, the government sets aside tens of millions of dollars for police training. And full cannabis legalization is requiring that they spend millions more.
This year, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police rolled out a new training program that teaches police officers the various techniques they could apply to detect drug-impaired driving. Policemen are first trained how to conduct basic field sobriety tests, then they are trained how to detect drug impairment.
The RCMP eventually started offering these training courses online. This gave them the idea to launch an online training module called “Introduction to Cannabis Legislation.”
Under the online training course, officers will get to know the fine points of the new law and how to deal with legal cannabis. They will learn the various criminal offenses under the Cannabis Act, the elements and the powers of arrest for each of these offenses, as well as how the Cannabis Act affects law enforcement in the country’s First Nation territories and reserves.
What’s more, the course will teach the police how to identify the different forms of cannabis and their quantities. They will learn how much botanical cannabis, cannabis oil, or other cannabis concentrates is permitted by law. In addition, they will also know the difference between restrictions and limits for medical versus recreational use of cannabis.
This online course will standardize the training for all of the law enforcement agencies across the country. Officers can therefore be consistent in their application of the new cannabis laws, and do so in a well-informed and knowledgeable manner.
Of course, the training will also cover critical thinking in unique and uncertain situations that are bound to arise under the new legislation, including identification of safe and unsafe scenarios and environments that are related to cannabis.
The online training course can be accessed by all Canadian police services. Completing the module won’t cost departments anything. Overall, it is a low-cost program as it uses an online information sharing infrastructure that already exists and is already used by police.
If the online training program is proven successful, it will be a model for future legislative changes that will impact law enforcement.
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Want to read up on Canada’s cannabis legalization milestones and its Cannabis Act?
Check out our previous articles here.