The pilot project will train 30 beat officers to user Taser guns
The decision to arm police officers in Scotland with Taser stun guns should be taken by ministers, according to the Liberal Democrats.
The party is leading a debate on the issue at Holyrood.
It follows Strathclyde Police's decision to issue 30 officers with Tasers as part of a pilot project.
Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said the the use of weapons, which fire a 50,000-volt electrical charge, was an operational matter for the police.
The weapons are designed to incapacitate people rather than cause serious injury.
The £45,559 pilot by Strathclyde Police will focus on beat officers in Glasgow city centre and the Rutherglen and Cambuslang areas - which have seen a higher number of police assaults.
The officers who will be issued with the stun guns have been given three days of training.
Robert Brown, the Liberal Democrat justice spokesman, said: "Before the weapons were issued to more officers in England, it was signed off by the home secretary but according to the first minister, in Scotland this is an operational matter and he refuses to get drawn in.
"The first minister has also given assurances that police officers who are armed with Taser guns will be given the same amount of training as firearm officers - three days is clearly nowhere near the amount of training firearms officers receive."
He added: "Safety of police officers is, of course, absolutely vital but we have always prided ourselves on having an unarmed police force which has good relations with the local community."
In the debate in the Scottish Parliament, Mr MacAskill said Tasers were "accepted and proportionate" weapons for police.
He added: "They are used to try and negate the requirement to use proper firearms. These are operational matters."
The justice secretary said the pilot scheme would be fully evaluated by the police authority.
He added: "To suggest that the government should be giving direction to a police force is something I would have opposed in opposition and would certainly not seek to bring in in government."
The Lord Advocate is the "only person" who can direct police in criminal matters, Mr MacAskill said.
Labour's justice spokesman Richard Baker said that if Strathclyde Police did deploy tasers across the force, it would be a "significant move" for the rest of Scotland.
He added: "I do support this pilot going ahead, but it would seem to me bizarre if, at its conclusion, the detailed findings were not shared with ministers, and indeed with the Strathclyde Police authority and the opportunity given for further discussion."
Bill Aitken for the Conservatives said MSPs should be focussing on the 4,000 officers in Strathclyde who are assaulted each year, according to recent statistics.
"That is a disgraceful figure," he said.
Strathclyde Police has insisted that the Taser training is adequate.
Human rights organisation Amnesty International Scotland has said it does not oppose Tasers but feels the training course is insufficient.