Calgary police chief Roger Chaffin said the federal government’s promise to legalize and regulate cannabis will pose challenges for police.
“I’m not sure society needs another drug,” Chaffin said. “I don’t really believe that it’s in the community’s best interest to introduce another challenge for what it’s like to grow up.”
Chaffin said legalized marijuana will “change the fabric and nature of the community.”
When Justin Trudeau’s Liberal’s were elected, Chaffin didn’t condemn the party’s policy of legalization but said his police force would continue to enforce prohibition until the new laws were enacted.
Chaffin hoped law enforcement would be consulted before cannabis is legalized.
“Policing will hopefully be a voice at the table, but we’ll have to work through it,” Chaffin said. “I’m not fighting the idea of what’s legalized and what’s not, but what’s the impact going to be and how do we manage that?”
The police chief’s biggest issue with the legalization of cannabis is how it will impact road safety.
“My big concern on the policing side and probably for everybody who’s driving, is operating a motor vehicle under the influence,” he said.
Chaffin became Chief Constable of the Calgary Police Service Oct. 19, 2015.