AACP Message - Open Letter to the Citizens of the Province of Alberta
ISSUED ON BEHALF OF THE ALBERTA ASSOCIATION OF CHIEFS OF POLICE
November 14, 2017
Open Letter to the Citizens of the Province of Alberta
RE: Legalization of Cannabis in Alberta
As the President of the Alberta Association of Chiefs of Police (AACP), I am writing to provide our communities with an understanding of the problematic issues associated with the ‘Federal Government’s’ aggressive timelines for the legalization of cannabis products by July 2018. The AACP acknowledges the Federal Government’s mandate to legalize cannabis products. The Government of Alberta is tasked with creating a framework, which outlines the legal and responsible use of cannabis by Albertans. The AACP believes there is insufficient time for the full consideration necessary in the creation of the regulatory framework to ensure the safety of Albertans. The AACP is particularly interested in the Government’s consideration of the following issues:
a) Access, Exposure and Use/Consumption by Young People: The intent of legalizing cannabis products was not to normalize the consumption in the eyes of young people. Medical research clearly suggests that the consumption of cannabis products negatively impacts mental development and creates health risks for young people. The AACP encourages the Government to approach the use and consumption of cannabis products in the same fashion as the use and consumption of alcohol. Regulations that restrict public consumption will minimize exposure to young people and decrease public disorder.
b) Road Safety: Impaired driving detection is a primary safety objective of police services across the Province. The science related to impairment due to cannabis use is unresolved, and the Federal Government has yet to approve instruments that would objectively measure roadside impairment.
c) Organized Crime Influence: Organized crime has historically been the main supplier of cannabis products in an industry with estimated profits exceeding $6-billion annually. The Alberta Association of Chiefs of Police encourages the Government of Alberta to create laws and regulations ensuring organized crime cannot infiltrate private outlet distribution of cannabis products.
d) On-line Sales and Distribution: On-line sales of cannabis products is another avenue of exposure to young people and exploitation by organized crime. On-line sales make cannabis products available to individuals (e.g., young people), who would otherwise not legally be able to purchase and possess these products. The Alberta Association of Chiefs of Police encourages the Government to create a strongly regulated on-line distribution network that will eliminate such opportunities.
While the AACP looks forward to working with the Provincial Government on the regulatory framework, it is our position that there is insufficient time to prepare the necessary legislative framework and regulations to ensure the public safety of all Albertans. As President of the AACP, I encourage you to share your concerns with your respective Government representatives at the Municipal, Provincial and Federal levels.
(Original signed by)
Andy McGrogan, Chief
Medicine Hat Police Service
President, Alberta Association of Chiefs of Police