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Impacts of Cannabis Legalization on Police

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Presented to: Future of Policing Advisory Committee
Division: Strategic Policy, Research and Innovation Division
Date: August 2, 2017

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Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services


Purpose

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To ensure public safety objectives are addressed with the impending legalization of cannabis in July
2018, police will play an important role with its implementation. Given the legalization of cannabis is a
multijurisdictional issue that impacts both public safety and enforcement, the purpose of consulting a

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police stakeholder group is to:
1. Provide an overview of the anticipated impacts of the legalization of cannabis
2. Receive feedback on areas that are of interest to police stakeholders

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Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services
Context

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On April 13, 2017 the federal government introduced Bill C-45 to legalize and regulate non-medical cannabis by
July 1, 2018 and Bill C-46 to strengthen and modernize parts of the Criminal Code relating to impaired driving
and other transportation offences

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Bill C-45 Bill C-46
Establish the legislative framework for cannabis, Proposes new impaired driving offences related
identifying what activities are legal and what to:
activities remain prohibited and provides for the Drug impaired driving
licensing and oversight of the legal cannabis The use of oral fluid drug screening

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supply chain devices (drug screeners)
Sets federal minimum standards and proposes to New provisions relating to blood
create a prescriptive and complex criminal and demands/sample
regulatory framework A repeal and replace of the Criminal Code
Provinces may consider additional restrictions and section dealing with conveyances (defined
standards that build on and align with the federal as the following means of transportation:
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framework motor vehicle, vessel, aircraft or railway
equipment)
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Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services
Enforcement of New Cannabis Landscape

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Anticipated increase in Early lessons learned from US
General enforcement capacity jurisdictions indicate a robust public
Public
Enforcement pressures due to cannabis education campaign is associated
Education
legalization with better outcomes come

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implementation

There are enforcement and


public safety options that will
vary locally e.g. cannabis
tourism from other jurisdictions There is limited baseline data on
Local Impacts
and enforcement options for Data Collection cannabis production, potency,
cannabis in communities that prevalence etc.

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currently dont allow alcohol
(dry communities)

The illegal market will not


There may be potential operational
disappear once cannabis is
Organized Medicinal difficulties enforcing both the
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legalized (e.g. Illegal
Crime Cannabis medical cannabis and recreational
dispensaries will continue to
cannabis regimes
operate)
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Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services
Discussion Questions-Enforcement of New Cannabis Landscape

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What priorities do you think are the most important for police services to obtain prior
to cannabis legalization in order to enforce the new regime?
What concerns/considerations do you have regarding cannabis legalizations impact

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on local municipalities?
Are there considerations in regards to displacing organized crime that should be
considered concerning cannabis legalization?
How should the police be involved in Ontarios public education campaign?

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What type of data is currently being collected?
What additional data is important to collect and which is not currently collected?
Are there plans for collecting this additional information?
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Are there concerns concerns in having separate medical and recreational cannabis
regimes?
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Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services
Minimum Age

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Bill C-45 sets the minimum age of use at 18 by creating criminal offences for a person 18 or older selling or providing
cannabis to any person under the age of 18

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Provinces can establish a higher minimum age for the sale and supply of cannabis. The federal government has informed
provinces that there is a moderately low risk of frustrating federal law it the the minimum age it increased to 19 or higher
due to compelling health reasons

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To raise the minimum age a
Raising the minimum age much
provincial regulatory regime If the minimum ages differ from
higher than 18 could lead to
would need to be created for province to province there could
Considerations continued reliance on the illicit
youth between 18 and the age be a rise in border shopping
for Police market by youth and young
chosen, increasing the for youth similar to what
adults
complexity in enforcing for happens with alcohol
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police officers
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Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services
Discussion Questions-Minimum Age

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What do you think minimum age should be?
Are you supportive of aligning the minimum age for cannabis with the alcohol and

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tobacco regimes?
Are there linkages between minimum age and the illicit market that should be
considered?

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Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services
Youth Possession and Sharing

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Individuals under the age of 18 years would not face criminal prosecution or get criminal records for possessing up to 5
grams of dried licit or illicit cannabis (or equivalent), whether in a public or private place
For possession of more than 5 grams of dried cannabis, young people would be subject to a possession
offence and to provisions of the federal Youth Criminal Justice Act
Young people would not face criminal prosecution for sharing up to 5 grams of dried cannabis (or equivalent) with

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adults or other young persons
There is no prohibition in the federal framework prohibiting youth from sharing with a person under 12

Same as with adult possession it is open to provinces to impose more stringent possession and sharing restrictions by
way of provincial legislation.
The federal government has informed provinces that lowering the amount of the federal exception for youth possession
would be a moderately low risk to frustrating federal law due to the valid provincial health purpose. This option could

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include creating a new provincial offense or creating seizure authority for a peace officer
A prohibition on public recreational cannabis possession in certain locations such as schools and day cares would be
consistent with the alcohol and tobacco regimes

Considerations
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Want to avoid the criminalization of youth. Especially youth in vulnerable populations
for Police
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Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services
Discussion Questions- Youth Possession and
Sharing

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Do you think Ontario should consider lowering possession limits for youth?
To what level should the youth possession limit be lowered to?

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What are the most important considerations, from an enforcement perspective?
If youth possession is lowered, what type of penalties do policing stakeholders prefer
for youth possessing between 0-5 grams?
Should police have power to seize the cannabis?

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Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services
Adult Possession and Sharing

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Bill C-45 provides that adults (individuals aged 18 years or older) can legally possess up to 30 grams of legal dried
cannabis while in public, including motor vehicles in a public place
Equivalent amounts for different classes of cannabis (e.g. solids with cannabis), possession restrictions for non
budding cannabis plants, and prohibiting the possession by adults of illicit cannabis are also specified

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Adults can share up to 30 grams of legal dried cannabis (or equivalent) with other adults
Adults sharing cannabis with individuals who are under 18 years of age is prohibited

It is open to provinces to impose more stringent possession and sharing restrictions by way of provincial legislation. The
federal government has informed provinces that lowering the amount of cannabis that an adult can possesses a
moderately high risk of being seen to frustrate federal law

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If provincial regulation is layered
over the federal regime there There may be operational
There may be operational
will need to be a decision on issues to deciphering when
Considerations issues with trying to accurately
which lab (e.g. federal or social sharing of cannabis does
for Police measure 30 grams of dried
provincial) is responsible for not constitute the facilitation of a
cannabis or equivalent in public
testing cannabis seized under drug transaction
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provincial regulation
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Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services
Discussion Questions- Adult Possession and
Sharing

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Given the different forms in which cannabis can be consumed what difficulties do you
envision enforcing possession limits for adults and young persons?

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What are your views on the role of police services in enforcing social sharing?

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Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services
Places of Use

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Bill C-45 would amend the federal Non-Smokers Health Act to prohibit the smoking and vaping of cannabis in federally
regulated workplaces and public places under federal jurisdiction, with limited exemptions
Provinces may otherwise regulate the consumption of cannabis in certain places

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The federal government has indicated that it is up to the provinces to regulate the places cannabis can be consumed

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Exposure to second hand Banning cannabis consumption Enforcing restrictions on
cannabis smoke and vapour, in public could increase the risk public consumption/
Considerations and exposing youth to cannabis of users turning to other impairment could be
for Police use could promote uptake and mediums (e.g. edibles) which challenging given the different
social acceptance, as well as could lead to stronger mediums of cannabis that can
renormalize smoking impairment/effects be consumed (e.g. edibles)
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Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services
Discussion Questions- Places of Use

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Do you think Ontario should restrict where people can consume non-medical
cannabis? If yes, in what public places should people not be able to use cannabis?

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Do you think restrictions should vary depending on the way cannabis is consumed
(e.g. smoking, vaping, edibles, extracts)?
What type of exemptions should exist for the use of medical cannabis?
What should the penalties/consequences be for consumption of cannabis in restricted

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places?
Are there any operational concerns for you in prohibiting the consumption of
cannabis in public and quasi-public areas?
Any concerns with enforcing licensed establishments or venues with special
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occasion permits?
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Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services
Home Cultivation

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The proposed federal Cannabis Act permits persons to cultivate cannabis plants inside or outside of their dwelling-house
for personal use subject to a number of restrictions including:
The individual must be 18 years of age or older to cultivate, propagate or harvest;
A maximum of four plants per dwelling (irrespective of the number of residents);
A maximum plant height of 100cm;

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Plants must originate from a licensed seed or seedling supplier; and
Organic solvents, such as acetone or benzene, cannot be used in making cannabis products in a dwelling

The federal government has indicated that provinces may enact additional restrictions on personal cultivation

May be difficult to May be a challenge for

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Could be an Potential for increased
provide effective police to enforce, as
additional source for criminalization of
oversight of home they require
organized crime individuals for
grow operations as reasonable cause to
intervention (e.g. violations that may not
Considerations most municipalities/ execute a criminal
provides unregulated be affiliated with
for Police local police services search or obtain
cannabis and trafficking purposes or
lack capacity for the warrants if they believe
products that could organized crime (e.g.
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anticipated magnitude crimes are being
be diverted to supply small amounts of over-
of increased committed on private
illicit markets) production)
enforcement properties
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Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services
Discussion Questions- Home Cultivation

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Should police services have a role in enforcing restrictions on home cultivation?
Will the impact for you be any different if zero plants? Fewer than four plants?

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Do you want to add additional restrictions on home cultivation? (plants in locked area,
ban on outdoor production, etc.)
What are the current practices for identifying medical users/growers?
What are the gaps in the current medical cannabis regime?

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Do you want to align the age to cultivate cannabis with the minimum age of use?
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Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services
Retail and Distribution Chain

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Bill C-45 recognizes provincial/territorial authority to regulate the sale of cannabis, subject to minimum federal conditions

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A retail and distribution model for cannabis has not been finalized by Ontario. Police capacity for enforcement will
depend on the type of retail and distribution model that is chosen

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Illegal dispensaries currently operate in Ontario The federal government is proposing a seed to
Considerations
and will likely continue to operate illegally once sale tracking system for cannabis come
for Police
Cannabis is legalized legalization
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Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services
Discussion Questions-Retail and Distribution
Chain

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What enforcement considerations would need to be addressed in a retail model that
is similar to the AGCO?

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What enforcement considerations do you have for the proposed federal seed to sale
tracking system?

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Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services
Drug-Impaired Driving

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Bill C-46 proposes new impaired driving offences related to drug impaired driving; the use of oral fluid drug screening devices
(drug screeners); new provisions relating to blood demands/sample; and a repeal and replace of the Criminal Code section
dealing with conveyances (defined as the following means of transportation: motor vehicle, vessel, aircraft or railway
equipment)

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New drug-impaired driving provisions will come into force upon Royal Assent (prior to July 2018, and potentially as early as
December 2017), and revisions to the conveyance provisions will come into force six months after Royal Assent

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After alcohol, There is a need to build
The public, especially
cannabis is the most short and long-term
youth do not Drug screeners only test
Considerations commonly detected drug-impaired driving
understand cannabis for presence of drug not
for Police substance in drivers expertise/ capacity and
impairment risk to impairment
who die in traffic appropriate training
driving**
collisions* approach
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* 2011 report by the Ontario Centre of Forensic Sciences, Drugs and Driving in Ontario: Data from Office of the Chief Coroner (OCC) Driver Death Investigations
and subsequent manual review conducted by MTO of OCC 2014 data
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**2015 Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey notes: The percentage of drivers in grades 1012 reporting driving after cannabis use is higher than the
percentage reporting driving after drinking. One-in-ten (10%) drivers report driving a vehicle within one hour of using cannabis at least once during the past
year (an estimated 29,500 adolescent drivers in Ontario)

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Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services
Discussion Questions- Drug-Impaired Driving

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What capacity of SFST and DRE-trained officers do you think needs to be built out in
police forces to ensure proper enforcement of drug-impaired driving?

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What do you think is the best training model to get police trained in SFST and DRE?
What do you think about the validity/reliability and effectiveness of the SFST and
DRE model and training approach?
How do you think drug impaired driving enforcement will change/increase from the
current approach and intensity?

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What opportunities/challenges as well as considerations exist for the drug screeners
proposed in Bill C-46?
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Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services
Next Steps

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MCSCS will analyze the feedback heard today and received electronically
to help identify policy recommendations on the impact of cannabis

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legalization on enforcement
We will further engage stakeholders through the MAG-led engagement
process (including public survey and public roundtables)
MCSCS will report back to Cabinet with a recommended approach for

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general enforcement of cannabis, fire and building safety, and personal
cultivation of cannabis
We would appreciate any written responses to the discussion questions in
this presentation. Please send all responses to Andra Vanasse at
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Andrea.Vanasse@ontario.ca by August 9, 2017
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Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services
Appendix A: Cannabis Legalization in U.S.
Jurisdictions

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PUBLIC POSSESSION
JURISDICTION APPROACH
CONSUMPTION LIMITS

Colorado* (1st Recreational use legal; home cultivation legal

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28.5 grams (1 oz.)
state to legalize State licensed private retailers Not Allowed
or the equivalent
recreational use) No restriction on the types of products permitted
Recreational use legal; no home cultivation permitted 28.5 grams dried
Washington State State licensed private retailers Not Allowed (or the equivalent)
No restriction on the types of products permitted
Recreational use legal; home cultivation legal
District of

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Sales are illegal; no retailers; product can be gifted Not Allowed 57 grams
Columbia
Congress has blocked creation of laws for buying/ selling
Recreational use legal; home cultivation legal
Alaska No licensed private retailers until late 2016 Not Allowed 28.5 grams
Specifications around THC content in packaged products
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Recreational use legal; home cultivation legal 226 grams (only
Oregon State licensed private retailers 28.5 g can be
Not Allowed
carried on the
Specifications around THC content in packaged products
person)
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Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services