By Scott Costen
The legalization of cannabis nearly two months ago has not been a problem for local police, the acting commander of Queens District RCMP says.
“We haven’t seen a huge spike in issues,” Cpl. John Harris said during a report to Region of Queens Municipality (RQM) council this morning. There have been “a couple” of tickets issued for smoking inside vehicles, he said. “But we haven’t had an increase in impaired activities like impaired driving.”
Deputy mayor Heather Kelly asked Harris to describe scenarios in which public cannabis use would be illegal. “I try to liken it to alcohol,” she said. “Like, you couldn’t walk down the street carrying a beer, therefore you couldn’t walk down the street smoking cannabis.”
Harris corrected Kelly, indicating cannabis use is governed by smoke-free bylaws and policies rather than liquor regulations. “You definitely can’t smoke in a vehicle,” he said. “As far as walking down the street, I don’t think there’s legislation to stop that…”
In anticipation of cannabis legalization, Kelly and other councillors approved changes last year to RQM’s smoking bylaw and its policy on smoke-free buildings and vehicles. Generally speaking, cannabis consumption is legal in Queens wherever tobacco use is allowed.
During his presentation, Harris indicated newly promoted Staff Sgt. Dan Archibald will be the next detachment commander in Queens. “He is going to be coming out of Saskatchewan and he will arrive as soon as he sells his house,” he told council.