Federal government will spend $274 million on law enforcement for cannabis legalization

Following the announcement of Ontario’s provincial cannabis distribution framework this morning, the federal government came out with some cannabis-related news

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Following the announcement of Ontario’s provincial cannabis distribution framework this morning, the federal government came out with some cannabis-related news of its own.

Public Safety Canada announced in a news release that it will dedicate up to $274 million to the enforcement of laws related to cannabis legalization.

This will include increased efforts at borders, detecting and deterring drug-impaired driving, and enforcing the rules around things like individual cannabis possession and more.

Of that amount, $161 million will go to training frontline officers in recognizing drug-impaired driving, increasing the number of officers, creating new policies, and purchasing drug screening devices, among other things.

Over the next five years, provinces will be able to access $81 million for their own law enforcement training. Some of that money will also be intended to help build and enforce stronger provincial laws related to drug-impaired driving.

Public Safety Canada, the RCMP, and Canada Border Services Agency will receive $113.5 million over the next five years for policy development, and ‘to ensure organized crime doesn not infiltrate the legalized system’, while also keeping cannabis from coming across the border.

Though taxation has yet to be discussed, Finance Canada will soon be consulting on a proposed tax regime for cannabis.

No details were given with respect to how the government plans to enforce drug-impaired driving, but the release did mention that in June 2017, Public Safety Canada, the RCMP, and the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators completed a pilot project to test a drug screening device that uses an oral fluid sample to detect the presence of drugs.

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