Those of you skiers and boarders who like lighting up on the chairlift might want to first check who is on the chair behind you. According to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Canada's national public radio and television, Royal Canadian Mounted Police are patrolling the slopes of places like Whistler, Lake Louise and Nakiska looking specifically for people getting Rocky Mountain high on the hill.
The cops, outfitted in goofy yellow jackets and pants with a similarly goofy yellow stripe down the leg are also carrying guns. And you though Canada was all peace-loving, didn't you? The RMCP ski patrol has already made one arrest back in December. Corporal Jeff Campbell of the RCMP says their mere presence should scare stoners straight. "It's going to deter people from bringing narcotics or have that second look of doing something on the ski hill because they know there is going to be a police presence," Campbell told the CBC.
Predictably, not everyone is stoked about police presence on the mountain. The CBC quotes one visitor as saying that while the move makes sense, it still "sucks". "I would think that more recklessness comes from people coming in and drinking at lunch time and then going back out ... Are you going to give somebody a ticket for drinking and then skiing? ... It seems like a very slippery slope to me. I feel like the chairlift is my time to smoke reefer."
We here at Toke agree. Smoking herb on the mountain is a borderline tradition at this point -- with riders going out of their way to construct epic smoke shacks on the hill as a sanctuary from the tourists and mega-corporate resorts.
The report says that police used to patrol the hills for much the same reason back in the 1990s, but that the program eventually puttered out. Officials say they brought it back due to recent complaints. Thankfully Canadians are so nice, they let you know when the police will be out looking for you: skiers and boarders can expect two officers - who volunteer their time for this duty - on the hill during weekends, March spring break time and Easter weekend.
Similar patrols already exist at resorts in the U.S. Vail, Colorado police can often be seen schussing down the hill on weekends looking for similar behaviors as the RCMP and stories of forest rangers busting smokers in clandestine smoke shacks at other Colorado resorts like Aspen and Crested Butte.
Listen to the entire CBC report below.
William Breathes. A hidden smoke shack at Winter Park resort in Colorado.