NewsTalk 1010: Toronto Police Department’s New Policy on Officers & Marijuana

Ed Prutschi sat down on NewsTalk1010’s Law and Order segment to discuss the Toronto Police Department’s new policy that will restrict officers from consuming marijuana, which was just made legal, 28 days before duty. This policy effectively bans officers from consuming marijuana.

The police union is looking to fight this draft policy. As of right now, it has not been implemented. The police union says there is shaky science behind the policy. As long as officers are fit for duty and not impaired, by alcohol, marijuana or even lack of sleep, they should be allowed to partake in any legal activities in their free time.

Prutschi and the policy union agree that this policy raises questions about the science behind marijuana impairment. What about everyday drivers, pilots, firefighters, or teachers that are no longer “high” but still have it in their system? For police officers, there is also the issue of secondhand smoke that may come about from policing marijuana users.  If the policy goes through with the 28-day period, the police union is prepared to fight it.

Prutschi sees this as a gift for criminal lawyers. He states the real issue is about impairment, not about the levels of THC in the body. While science can indicate how much THC is in the body, that number is not like alcohol where it also indicates impairment.

Listen to the full talk below:

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About the author

I am one of the senior partners at Bytensky Shikhman, a criminal litigation firm in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In my 25+ year career, I have conducted numerous trials and appeals before all levels of Court in Ontario, defending just about every type of charge in our criminal law. I am also an Adjunct Professor of Trial Advocacy at Osgoode Hall Law School and currently the Treasurer of the Criminal Lawyers' Association of Ontario. I am also an Adjunct Professor for Trial Advocacy at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University and a regular lecturer and placement supervisor for Osgoode's Intensive Programme in Criminal Law.
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