RCMP should allow Mountie to smoke medicinal pot in uniform: cannabis advocate - Macleans.ca

RCMP should allow Mountie to smoke medicinal pot in uniform: cannabis advocate


FREDERICTON – The case of a New Brunswick Mountie who’s reportedly been told he cannot smoke the drug while in uniform underscores the need for employers to better understand medicinal marijuana, an advocate for medical cannabis said Thursday.

Adam Greenblatt, president of the Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries, said the RCMP should ultimately allow Cpl. Ron Francis to smoke in uniform providing he is not impaired while working.

“If this officer was a diabetic, would they prevent him from using insulin on the job?” Greenblatt said from Montreal. “That’s the way I see it.”

Francis could not be reached for comment, but the CBC reported that he told the network there’s no policy in the RCMP that prevents him from smoking his doctor-prescribed, medical-grade marijuana in public or while wearing his red serge or regular uniform.

The CBC said Francis is assigned to administrative duties and was prescribed three grams of marijuana a day this month to treat post-traumatic stress disorder, though the Mountie doesn’t smoke that amount and does not believe the drug has negatively impacted his ability to be a police officer.

RCMP deputy commissioner Gilles Moreau told the CBC that Francis should not take his medication while in uniform and the RCMP is looking at its internal policies on the matter.

The RCMP said Moreau was not available to comment Thursday but it issued a statement in response.

“Any member on a mind-altering drug — such as marijuana, OxyContin, Dilaudid — is not permitted to perform operational duties, including carrying a firearm or operating a police vehicle, as this could pose a risk to themselves, a co-worker or the public,” the RCMP said.

“We are continuously working to strengthen the support we can offer employees affected by operational stress injuries. The commissioner has made it clear both publicly and to the employees of the RCMP that if you get sick or injured on the job, we will look after you — and we will do it fairly.”

Greenblatt said Francis could always take his marijuana in more discreet ways, such as baking it into a cookie or using a vaporizer.

But Greenblatt said he also understands the public relations problem it poses for the Mounties, who have a responsibility to uphold anti-drug laws.

“I would assume that it actually helps (Francis) do his job better, but you can’t be busting grow-ops and arresting drug traffickers and waging this prohibitionist war, and at the same time having your officers smoking cannabis in uniform,” he said.

“Obviously the conclusion is that this war on marijuana is ridiculous and this is just another one of these hypocritical, totally ludicrous situations that arises from the prohibition on cannabis.”

Greenblatt said the use of medicinal marijuana is becoming increasingly common but it remains relatively new territory for employers.

He commended Francis for bringing the issue to the public’s attention.

“The more we talk about it, the more we have an intelligent debate on this subject, the more perceptions evolve and the more we can reasonably accommodate people who use cannabis as a medicine.”

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RCMP should allow Mountie to smoke medicinal pot in uniform: cannabis advocate

  1. I assume they are allowed to take perscription medication while in uniform, so the RCMP argument doesn’t hold much weight here.

  2. smoking or vaping are his only options. HC does not allow us to bake or concentrate!

  3. Question: Can you smoke that much through the course of the day and not be impaired?

    • Yes, I’ve been using 10-15 grams per day and I don’t get high. Medical cannabis consumers who are on a relatively high dose get immune to the euphoric effects, however the pain relieving and other medical benefits remain effective.

  4. Now intrepid Justice Minister McKay is on record saying this Mountie “sets a poor example for Canadians.” By working for a living? By taking medicine prescribed to him by a physician? Oh, Petey, things haven’t been the same since Belinda dumped you for a cabinet position, have they?

  5. Time to take stress leave. That’s what it’s for. I for one don’t want this pothead showing up at my door wearing a weapon and stoned out of his mind.
    This country is becoming a joke.

    • See above answer to gottabesaid message.

  6. Lemme see: military doctors, lawyers, chaplains, social workers, dentists, dental assistants and hygienists and others must all be able to perform at the same level of fitness as your basic infanteer under the universality of service provisions of the CF. Yet RCMP members are kept around for years while medically unable to fully carry out their duties. We are all o.k. with that?

  7. Much love to the Mountie. Thank you for standing up for your freedom and the freedom of millions of others.

    • “Freedom” Gimme a break.