Central Saanich Police officers will get to use cannabis, but not within 24 hours of their next shift. (File photo)

Central Saanich Police officers will get to use cannabis, but not within 24 hours of their next shift. (File photo)

Central Saanich will allow police officers to use pot

Marijuana use by officers not allowed 24 hours before duty

Officers of the Central Saanich Police Service will be able to use cannabis, but they must not use it within 24 hours of their shift.

In an interview, Sgt. Paul Brailey, president of the Central Saanich Police Association, said it was about striking a balance between public safety and allowing officers to use a legal product.

RELATED: B.C. to have one store for non-medical cannabis on legalization day

“I don’t foresee a whole lot of police officers starting to smoke dope next week,” said Brailey, however, the police department felt a policy should be in place.

Brailey said even if officers did meet the 24-hour rule, they must also be fit for duty, mentally and physically. That applies to officers as well as administrative staff of the Central Saanich Police, all of whom deal with the public during emergency situations.

While Central Saanich is the first local police force on the south Island to have a cannabis policy for officers, Brailey said “the stars just aligned” because of a timely Police Board meeting last Thursday (Oct. 11).

Brailey said the Central Saanich Police examined the policies of other police forces across Canada, and did not find consistency. The RCMP has a 28-day prohibition, which the Canadian Police Association (representing officers) have called an effective ban, and some other forces like Calgary prohibit most officers from using cannabis recreationally at all. Brailey said the 28-day approach by some departments is more susceptible to a legal challenge.

“We set 24 hours because for the most part, THC will be out of your blood — the hallucinogenic effects of it,” Brailey said.

For the rest of the population, Central Saanich officers will continue to use the standard field sobriety test (eye test, walk and turn, standing on one leg, etc.) until a saliva-based testing device is adopted. Any police officer can issue a driving prohibition, but Central Saanich Police has also trained a drug recognition expert to do more tests if more serious charges are to be laid against a person.

“This is going to be a legal substance, similar to alcohol in the eyes of the government,” said Brailey. “I think there has to be a balance between an officer’s rights and ensuring that the safety of the public and [public confidence] is maintained.”


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

reporter@peninsulanewsreview.com

marijuana

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Island Health has reported a COVID-19 outbreak at Saanich Peninsula Hospital. (Black Press Media file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak hits first Greater Victoria hospital

Island Health declares outbreak at Saanich Peninsula Hospital

Athletes with Fairway Gorge Paddling Club’s open men’s staff head out on a high-tech outrigger canoe. The club raised more than $16,500 at its 2020 Wetdasche event. (Courtesy of Fairway Gorge Paddling Club)
Victoria paddling group breaks fundraising record

Fairway Gorge Paddling Club’s 2020 Wetdashe event raises more than $16,500

The Walking Curriculum gets students outside and connecting with nature. (Amanda Peterson/Special to S.F. Examiner)
‘Walking Curriculum’ crafted by former Saanich resident surges in popularity

The outdoor curriculum encourages students to connect with the natural world

Kathy MacNeil, president and chief executive officer of Island Health, Dawn Thomas, acting deputy health minister and Island Health’s vice president, Indigenous health and diversity and Chief Don Tom of Tsartlip First Nation, stand out Saanich Peninsula Hospital Tuesday morning, when they also answered questions about a new report that “widespread systemic racism against Indigenous people” in the provincial health care system. (Island Health/Submitted)
Head of Island Health says Saanich Peninsula Hospital not part of racist guessing game

Tsartlip First Nations Chief Don Tom welcomes changes following report but promises future scrutiny

Greater Victoria 4-H club member Sava Bell is all smiles holding some of the garden fresh ingredients he used to make his award-winning dish for the Field to Fork Challenge. (Courtesy Agriculture in the Classroom)
Greater Victoria 4-H members among winners in provincewide cooking competition

Field to Fork Challenge encourages B.C. youth to prepare healthy, local foods

A tongue-in-cheek message about wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 on a sign outside a church near Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection count climbs back up to 656

20 more people in hospital, active cases still rising

Dave Wallace coached the Parksville Royals for 23 years. (PQB News file photo)
B.C. baseball community mourns death of legendary Vancouver Island coach Dave Wallace

‘All who knew Dave and his passion for the game will miss him greatly’

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

A sign is seen this past summer outside the Yunesit’in Government office west of Williams Lake reminding visitors and members to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
B.C. First Nation leaders await privacy commissioner decision on COVID-19 information

Release of life-saving data cannot wait, says coalition of First Nations

MLA Jennifer Whiteside is B.C.’s new minister of education. She is speaking out against Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld and asking him to resign. (Black Press)
New education minister calls on Chilliwack trustee to resign

Whiteside echoes former minister’s promise to look at options to remove Barry Neufeld

Peter Beckett. ~ File photo
Supreme Court of Canada to decide if it will hear appeal in 2010 wife murder trial

Peter Beckett has stood trial twice for murder in connection with the death of his wife, Laura Letts-Beckett

Tabor Home in Abbotsford. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
B.C.’s largest COVID-19 care-home outbreak records 19 deaths, 147 cases

Tabor Home in Abbotsford has been battling outbreak since Nov. 4

Most Read