Canadian military unveils pot policy
Ben Cousins, CTVNews.ca Staff
Published Friday, September 7, 2018 10:38AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, September 7, 2018 4:01PM EDT
The Canadian military has released rules for its members when it comes to recreational cannabis consumption.
The guidelines, published Friday, indicate members of the Canadian Armed Forces will be allowed to consume and possess cannabis as long as they follow the federal and provincial laws, but face several added regulations about when they can and can’t use the drug.
Members of the Armed Forces will not be allowed to consume cannabis during a shift or domestic exercise. They will not be allowed to bring cannabis on any aircraft or vessel and are not permitted to bring cannabis with them internationally.
As far as day-to-day tasks, military members cannot consume cannabis up to eight hours before performing any duty, up to 24 hours before handling a loaded weapon or driving a vehicle, and up to 28 days before joining the crew of an aircraft or submarine.
In speaking with CTV News Channel, Chief of Military Personnel Lt.-Gen. Chuck Lamarre, who was part of the team to draft the policy, said the regulations were created using the latest research on the impacts of cannabis.
“It’s really based on how THC, cannabis, is processed by the body,” he said. “We feel very confident that eight hours, 24 hours and 28 days will ensure that we’re operational effective and will ensure that our men and women are ready at all times to do their business.”
Supervisors have been given directions on how to detect someone who might be impaired while on the job, including the presence of glassy eyes and slow reaction times. Anyone caught disobeying the rules can face disciplinary action.
“I think we can trust in our guys and our gals to look after themselves, to police themselves,” said Lamarre.
“It will be a very small number -- I’m sure of it -- that will actually contravene the rules…because our men and women are proud of what they do and they realize the importance and complexity of the roles that we ask them to do.”
Anyone found to have an addiction to cannabis, or a “cannabis use disorder,” will be offered voluntary medical treatment. If the member denies treatment, a permanent note is added to their medical file.
The rules come into effect on Oct. 17 when cannabis becomes legal in Canada.
With files from The Canadian Press