Police services across Canada, including Belleville Police Service, are training officers to deal with the legislation regarding the legalization of marijuana.
Belleville police spokesman Constable Brad Stitt says “the policing community has to ramp up skills to detect drivers who may be under the influence of cannabis.”
He says there’s no roadside machine to help as in the case of alcohol, where a breathalizer is used. For cannabis testing, it would involve blood testing.
Stitt points out that with “alcohol impairment we have a set of tools that we use to test alcohol concentration…we don’t currently have a roadside machine and we probably never will have a roadside machine to tell us what a person’s drug blood concentration is, or notices the presence of say cocaine in their system.”
He says drivers impaired by drugs are relatively rare in the city but this may change with pot legalization.
Stitt tells Quinte News, “It’s a learning curve for officers. We will have trained at least half of our patrol officers before January of next year in standardized field sobriety tests. These are tests police officers demand a driver perform and are not an indication of drugs or alcohol, just simply speaks to impairment, then the investigation goes in the direction that flows from it.”
Belleville police officer training is being carried out by the Ontario Police College. The sessions are carried out at the Belleville Police Service. Stitt says there are two more coming, one in September and one in January.