By Chris Gregory
March 9, 2015
Catching a kid with a joint isn’t a top priority for police officers, says the chief of police in Charlottetown.
There are bigger things happening out there that should be pursued more vigorously and the process of enforcing laws against marijuana and other cannabis makes it tough to do so, said Paul Smith.
“It is a really cumbersome process,” he said.
“We all have our priorities and things we want to get done.”
Still, Smith doesn’t necessarily advocate for the legalization of marijuana.
Comparing the possible legalization and taxation of marijuana to the likes of cigarettes, there’s an unseen downside that not many have thought about, he said.
“As prices go up, so does the black market. And is there really a benefit then?”
A ticketing process similar to what happens when someone gets pulled over for speeding would be the best possible situation, he said.
“If I can write a ticket, then I’m still enforcing the law, but it’s getting done much faster.”
Federally, the Conservative government opposes the decriminalization of marijuana.
The opposition Liberals are for legalization.
“We should move to the legalization of marijuana,” said Charlottetown Liberal MP, Sean Casey.
With the help of certain U.S. states, the Liberals have seen what the legalization of marijuana can do financially and the Liberals look to follow that up if they form the next government.
The issues with the use and possession of marijuana will not change, if nothing else changes, Casey said.
“Listen to Einstein, we’re doing the same things and expecting different results.”
Malpeque Liberal MP Wayne Easter said the attention of police officers could be better put towards other things.
“To me, the police are not enforcing the law anyway. They’re not going to give someone a criminal record.”
Roughly 57 per cent of the population use marijuana in one form or another and there’s no proper enforcement, Easter said.
“The party’s position is that we would legalize marijuana, try and take the criminal element out and legalize it.”