Perspectives — September 25 – 27, 2018

Last week, the Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice, appeared before the Senate Question Period. The Senate Conservative Caucus took this opportunity to raise critical questions about the impending legalization of marijuana, set for October 17.
Last month, the government announced the approval of the first (and only) drug screening device for law enforcement.
Many of the largest police forces in Canada have not ordered this device due to concerns over its accuracy in the Canadian cold winter temperature, its high number of false readings, and its cost of about $6,000 per device. There are legitimate worries that the inaccuracy of this device could lead to the dismissal of charges at a high cost to Canadian taxpayers.
Last spring, Conservative senators examined the government’s proposed marijuana legislation (Bill C-45), raising serious concerns about the implementation process. Committee reports and amendments were brought forward, most of which were dismissed by the government, as the Liberals were determined to meet their legalization deadline rather than address the multiple concerns and work towards passing better legislation.
The government is simply not ready for this major change in Canadian society. Ensuring that police officers have the proper tools prior to the legalization of marijuana should have been one of the government’s first priorities.  It is disappointing that our citizens’ health and safety was not placed at the forefront of the government’s marijuana legalization rollout.