Cocaine is an opioid abuse substance that can contribute to drug addiction and the adverse health effects associated with it. The drug is classified in Canada as one of the prohibited drugs under the Canadian Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and its possession, trafficking or use is a criminal offense punishable by statute, including life imprisonment (Government of Canada, 1996).
According to the Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey (CTADS) on average, 0.6 percent of Canadian adults admitted to using cocaine in the year 2012 (Canadian Center on Substance Abuse, 2015). (Canadian Center on Substance Abuse, 2015). More males than females reported to have used the drug in the same year i.e. 1.3% and 0.5% respectively. Law enforcers seized 1,030 Kg of cocaine representing 16%of all drug related police offences in the same year (Govenment of Canada, 2015).
The police officer involved in this case has broken the rules and regulations that regulate the conduct of police officers in their line of duty. This includes negligent and unlawful act of tampering with seized evidence that may be translated to obstruction of justice. This may lead to disciplinary action by the police department including dismissal from work. The officer may be charged with the illegal possession of a controlled drug/substance under the Canadian controlled drug and substances act and the Criminal code of Canada.as alluded to earlier, this may attract a prison sentence (Government of Canada, 2013).
These, alongside other ethical and moral issues, will be some of the possible implications of the officer’s act of retaining part of the evidence seized from a police drug related case (Government of Canada, 2017). Arising moral issues will arise from the societies’ expectation of the police force and its roles in the society as an agent of drug eradication and not as part of the factors fueling the cocaine and substance abuse menace.
In consideration of the aforementioned consequences, there are several steps that I would consider taking. Firstly, I would inform my partner that his action is wrong in fact and in law and that he was at risk of facing the charges of obstruction of justice and professional misconduct. If he does not consider these, I would tell him that I was going to report him to the police department because allowing him to engage in such an act would render me criminally liable for the offence of aiding a criminal act. If my colleague is still adamant after informing him of the charges he would face, I would report him to the department based on two main facts; his act is a criminal act and taking half of the drugs for himself is a moral wrong as it defeats the purpose of apprehending a person in possession of illegal drugs. In essence, failing to warn and report him would equally render me liable and would also be a manifestation of double standards hence an injustice to the society.
Canadian Center on Substance Abuse. (2015). Cocaine. Retrieved from http://www.ccsa.ca/Resource%20Library/CCSA-Cocaine-Drug-Summary-2015-en.pdf
Govenment of Canada. (2015). Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey: Summary of results for 2013. Statistics Canada.
Government of Canada. (1996). Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (S.C. 1996, c. 19). Retrieved from Justice Laws Website: http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/C-38.8/
Government of Canada. (2013). Government of Canada. Retrieved from justice Laws Website: http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/C-46/
Government of Canada. (2017). Code of Conduct of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Retrieved from Justice Laws Website: http://laws.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-2014-281/page-6.html