Pot policy varies across police forces
Police forces across Canada are continuing to finalize their policies regarding marijuana use by officers and civilian staff.
The Ontario Provincial Police simply says officers must be fit for dutry.
Here in northern Ontario, it seems like a bit of a patchwork of different rules will be in place for officers on various police forces.
When it comes to the recreational use of pot among its employees, the Timmins Police Service is keeping a more open mind, compared to other agencies throughout the country.
"Should there be some modest curiosity on behalf of our employees while off-duty to indulge in that type of activity, they shouldn't feel that it will cause their employment to be drawn into some sort of question. At least now we've set parameters on their off-duty behaviour." said Marc Depatie, of Timmins Police Service.
Whether they are officers or civilian staff, the policy allows for them to use cannabis products when they are off-duty.
"In keeping with the change in legislation, the Timmins Police Service has authorized, or permitted the use of, recreational cannabis for its employees no later than twenty-four hours before they resume their duties." said Depatie.
In comparison to other major cities, the Timmins police policy is not as strict.
In Sault Ste. Marie, it's the same as Toronto and the RCMP officers, staff must be 28-days pot-free before going to work.
"We wanted to set the bench high, so that we know that they are clear from that substance and their judgement reflects public and community safety." said Sault Ste. Marie Police Chief Hugh Stevenson.
Like the OPP, Sudbury and North Bay police have no specific days or hours mentioned in their policies. Officers are just expected to show up fit for duty.
In Calgary, pot use is completely banned at any time, on or off duty.
Police unions and associations are not happy with some of these policies.
Canadian Police Association President Tom Stamatakis says:
"Those that have chosen outright prohibition are effectively saying they don't trust their employees to make the right decision when it comes to reporting to work fit-for-duty."
Timmins police officials say they felt it was prudent to put a cannabis policy in place and say it can be amended if necessary.