ChoiceStorm

Should Cpl. Ronald Francis have had his uniform seized?

 

Cpl. Ronald Francis, who has been an RCMP officer for 20 years, has been placed on medical leave and had his uniform seized after he was caught on camera smoking legally prescribed medical marijuana, while in uniform.  The medical marijuana was recently prescribed at a dose of 9-15 joints per day to help Cpl. Francis treat his post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms.1

Postcard RCMP
 

 

Yes, Cpl. Ronald Francis's actions were not becoming of an RCMP officer

No, Cpl. Ronald Francis acted appropriately and is being punished unfairly.

Introduction

RCMP officers are expected to be role models, and are held to higher-than-average expectations for behavior.  To be seen smoking pot in public, even for medical purposes, sends an inappropriate message to Canadians.

Introduction

Cpl. Ronald Francis was taking a medically prescribed treatment to assist with an often underestimated illness.  The RCMP have a responsibility to support members with PTSD and other illnesses, and their action against Cpl. Francis does not align with this responsibility.

Medical Situation: PTSD

The RCMP recognizes that members are placed in stressful situations as a part of their work and do provide support as possible.  However, this support must be balanced with behavior that reflects the high expectations Canadians have for RCMP behavior.

Medical Situation: PTSD

Cpl. Ronald Francis has been through some very stressful situations that have resulted in a very challenging medical condition.  Various treatments are currently under investigation by the Canadian Mental Health Association2 as this is not an easy condition to treat.  Any legally prescribed treatment that is seen to have a positive effect by the patient should be respected by the employing organization.

Cpl. Ronald Francis’s prescription makes it unreasonable to expect that he can complete the work day without taking treatment. (9-15 joints per day)  It is also not reasonable to ask him to change out of uniform in the middle of the day in order to take his treatment.  This would not be expected of members taking other forms of medication during the work day.

Medical Side-effects

The use of Marijuana as a medical drug or otherwise will affect the work performance of the user.

Medical Side-effects 

RCMP policy states that officers who have medical conditions that may affect their performance directly or indirectly due to treatment methods are put on administrative duties.  RCMP members in these situations, such as Cpl. Ronald Francis, are not permitted to carry fire arms or operate vehicles, but are still active working members.  Medical related performance issues were not a factor in this situation.

Message to Canadians

It is difficult for Canadians not familiar with the situation to distinguish between an RCMP officer who is smoking legally prescribed marijuana or illegally obtained marijuana.  Canadians who see an RCMP member smoking pot in uniform can easily come to the wrong conclusion, which is an unacceptable risk to the reputation of the RCMP.

Message to Canadians

This is an opportunity to educate Canadians about the appropriate use of medical marijuana, or to review laws concerning the method of use.  It is currently illegal to take medical marijuana via alternate methods such as ingestion with food, making it challenging to be more subtle about its use.

   

Other Factors for Discussion

This question is about the situation of Cpl. Ronald Francis, but it raises further questions about the use of medical marijuana in Canadian society, and how we as Canadians integrate the practice into our culture.

 

RCMP response to medical marijuana

Should Cpl. Ronald Francis have been placed on medical leave and had his uniform seized due to his use of medical marijuana?

1
1

Vote

No, although Cpl. Ronald Francis shouldn't smoke medical marijuana in uniform in public the RCMP should have worked harder to find an alternative solution.
2
1

Vote

No, Cpl. Ronald Francis is being punished unfairly for having an illness and taking a medication that is appropriate for that illness.
3
0

Votes

Yes, RCMP officers should not be allowed to smoke pot in uniform even if for medical reasons.
4
0

Votes

Yes, but a review should now be done to determine appropriate long term solutions to this problem.
5
0

Votes

Undecided
New:
1 Votes left

jVoteSystem developed and designed by www.joomess.de.

 

References

1.     CTV News: Mountie says he has 'legal' right to smoke medical marijuana in uniform

2.     CMHA: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

3.     National Post: Veteran Mountie stripped of his uniform for publicly smoking medical marijuana weeps as he hands in red serge

4.     CBC: Pot-smoking Mountie can't smoke publicly in uniform: RCMP

  • No comments found
Add comment

This page is compiled and maintained by the ChoiceStorm community.  

Login or create an account to edit this page or make corrections.

See How you can help to learn more

© Copyright 2013 ChoiceStorm