James Munro spoke to Canadian Lawyer Magazine about Cannabis and the Readiness of Law Enforcement Agencies 

news & knowledge 

October 2018

Half of Canadians say they don’t think their home province is ready for the legalization of recreational cannabis on Oct. 17, according to a poll by the Angus Reid Institute.

The poll also reveals that 57 per cent of Canadians say that, upon legalization, they think the law will fail to prevent minors from accessing cannabis, along with 60 per cent saying they lack confidence in police to punish drivers operating vehicles while high.

The survey involved 1,500 Canadian adult respondents who answered an online survey from Sept. 4 to 7. Lawyers who spoke with Legal Feeds say they aren’t surprised by the results.

British Columbia has received hundreds of applications for privately owned cannabis retail shops through a portal that launched Aug. 10, and since then, only one application has been given the green light, says James Munro, partner at McMillan LLP in Vancouver.

Munro says the process might be moving slowly, but the benefit is that it gives the government time to properly vet each application and get it right and that although he is not a criminal lawyer, he sees the potential for considerable litigation in the future with respect to roadside screening that may ultimately need to be settled by the Supreme Court of Canada.

“We have to make sure that when we're testing drivers, we do that in a fair manner and the test that the federal government has approved is a saliva test, which is much different than the current roadside screening tests for alcohol,” he says.

To read the full Canadian Lawyer article, click here.