Last year members of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police passed a resolution in favour of the option.
Association president, Vancouver Chief Const. Jim Chu, says there have been ongoing discussions for the past year but the decision in the hands of government.
At the same time, asked about Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau's support for legalization of marijuana, Chu says police still want the option of criminal charges.
More than 400 delegates are in Victoria this week for the association's annual meeting, where everything from disaster response to budgets is on the agenda.
Chu says police across the country are operating in times of fiscal restraint, and chiefs will discuss the effect of cuts in other areas — such as mental health funding — that end up downloaded onto police.
Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said Justin Trudeau supports decriminalizing marijuana.