The challenges of policing pot: What Denver can teach cities like Ottawa

As Canadian police services call for a delay in the fast approaching July 1 deadline for legal marijuana, the City of Denver presents some lessons on policing challenges, whether it’s the black market, impaired driving, or managing public pot smoking.

The city’s pot czar, Ashley Kilroy, the director of Denver’s marijuana policy, said it took new funding to boost training, hire more officers, and buy the right equipment to get the job done.

“Now you guys, it sounds like you’ll have an even greater need if your police department is going to be charged with shutting down all of these illegal marijuana businesses,” Kilroy told CBC News.

During a press conference last Friday, Ontario’s Attorney General laid down the law with a warning to illegal dispensaries: “If you operate one of these facilities, consider yourself on notice.”

Ottawa police Chief Charles Bordeleau said there are 17 pot shops in the nation’s capital.

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