WINDSOR STAR: As ‘4/20’ approaches, marijuana laws will continue to be enforced, says Windsor police chief

Jon Liedtke is photographed at Higher Limits Lounge in Windsor on April 13, 2017. (Photo by AM800's John Hutton)

Mugoli Samba Apr 18, 2017 

Windsor police Chief Al Frederick says that police will keep enforcing current marijuana laws — including during “4/20” celebrations planned in Windsor on Thursday — despite the Trudeau government’s intention to legalize its use.

“Today, marijuana is illegal,” Frederick said in a scrum with reporters following the unveiling of Windsor police’s 150th anniversary cruiser Tuesday. “And anybody who (illegally) possesses or traffics marijuana today is subject to prosecution. No question.”

If legalized in July 2018, the federal minimum age of purchase would be 18. Those over the legal age will have the right to buy and grow small amounts, and to possess up to 30 grams of marijuana. Larger producers would have to obtain licences from Ottawa, while provinces would regulate its distribution, sale and pricing.

Frederick said police will be present around the downtown core on Thursday as marijuana advocates mark 4/20, a code term for the consumption of marijuana. A 4/20 Festival is taking place at Charles Clark Square, and a 4/20 Windsor event is planned for the downtown medical marijuana lounge Higher Limits.

Marijuana advocate Jon Liedtke said Windsor police should start concentrating their efforts elsewhere, instead of wasting time and money enforcing marijuana laws that will soon be gone. 

“I think it’s a little illogical to be focusing on something that will most likely get thrown out in the court process a year from now after legalization comes in effect,” Liedtke said.

“I believe it would be a waste of taxpayer dollars, police resources, and overall time and effort to keep trying to prosecute low-level cannabis offences.”

The city’s police force is currently preparing policies for the drug’s legalization, Frederick said. The policies will provide a “unique response” to challenges that are distinct to Windsor.

“Marijuana will not be legal in the United States,” said Frederick. “And so that creates a threat to Windsor residents who may forget it’s in their pockets, enter a foreign country and you can be arrested.”

Frederick said that police will continue to arrest and charge users “just as they did before.”

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Police will keep enforcing current marijuana laws | Windsor Star