The federal government is still assessing whether to allow police to ticket people caught with small amounts of marijuana instead of pursuing charges, says Justice Minister Peter MacKay.
But if government were to introduce looser pot laws, it would have to happen sooner rather than later, MacKay said Tuesday ahead of a meeting with law enforcement experts in Vancouver.
Any legislation would have to happen within the next six months, the minister said.
“With some eight justice bills right now in the House or in the queue to come before Parliament, we’re running out of runway as far as bringing legislation forward,” he said. “But that’s one that I do view as important, so if we are going to introduce it, it would have to happen within the next six months.”
MacKay said he has been speaking with police and his staff have been looking at other jurisdictions, including in the U.S., to see whether ticketing for pot possession is an effective option.
Canada’s police chiefs have long called for such a move. Last year, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police said that under current laws, the only enforcement option that officers have when confronted with simple possession of pot is either to turn a blind eye or pursue charges, which often results in a lengthy court process.
– Read the entire article at CBC.