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In a recent post we wrote about the dramatic increase in the number of drivers arrested in Toronto for drug-impaired driving. As we noted in that post, the arrests were due to the use of different drugs before driving, including marijuana. The likely legalization of marijuana in Canada could lead to even more arrests of this nature.
At least one organization—Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Canada—is anticipating more impaired drivers on the road and is proactively taking steps to keep the roads safe. Along with an Ontario medical marijuana company, it is launching a three-year campaign geared toward drivers throughout the nation. In a recent interview, the organization’s CEO shared some of MADD Canada’s goals.
First, MADD would like the government to create laws surrounding drug-impaired driving before marijuana is legalized. The organization believes that law enforcement’s ability to arrest individuals suspected of the crime will result in fewer serious crashes.
Second, along those same lines, MADD would like legislation to be passed that would make it possible for suspected drug-impaired drivers to be administered an oral fluid screening. According to the organization’s CEO, when administered within six hours of using the drugs, it is “very reliable.”
MADD is also working on crafting a message for drivers. While alcohol can stay in the system of a person for quite some time, resulting in the well-known “Don’t drink and drive” message, marijuana leaves the body much faster. Accordingly, MADD is hoping to establish and communicate a time frame after which someone who has smoked marijuana can safety get behind the wheel of a vehicle.
There is undoubtedly much more to come pertaining to this subject and how it could impact individuals arrested for suspicion of driving while drug-impaired. We will provide updates as they become available.