For the Humboldt RCMP, the first day of legalized cannabis was a quiet one.
“As a detachment, we haven’t seen increased calls for services yet,” said Cst. Geoff Applegate at the end of the day Oct. 17.
The detachment has prepared for legalized. One of its members has been trained as a drug recognition expert, who can perform a battery of tests to determine if somebody is impaired – whether it is from cannabis, alcohol, some other drug or even an undiagnosed medical condition.
As well, the majority of the detachment’s members have taken training to conduct a standard field sobriety test.
“That’s the roadside test you can conduct with a subject. It can detect drugs or alcohol,” Applegate said. “It’s a three-part test that tests your ability to function and drive, and determine if you’re fit to be driving a motor vehicle or whether you’re impaired by some substance.”
While cannabis is legal, it’s still tightly controlled. Applegate compared the situation to how liquor is controlled. Like alcohol, cannabis isn’t to be used while walking down the street.
“Public areas aren’t an area where you can consume cannabis,” he said. “It’s to be consumed on private property or in your dwelling.”
Those caught using the substance in public will face a $200 fine. That goes up to $1,000 if used on school property.
Cannabis cannot be consumed in a vehicle and doing so will result in a $300 fine. The consequences are worse if somebody is impaired by the drug and operating a vehicle. That will result in a immediate license suspension, as well as being charged with any applicable criminal laws related to impaired driving.
From Oct. 3 to 17, Humboldt RCMP dealt with 54 calls for service.
There were 16 calls relating to the criminal code, including three assaults, two cases of identity fraud, two thefts under $5,000 and one case of fraud under $5,000.
There were 13 traffic offenses and five written warning handed out. There was also a safety traffic stop held.