Cannabis Legalisation and Driving


It is expected that July 2018 will be the official legalization date of marijuana legalization. With the new legalization, it has drivers concerned about the Ontario roadways. What laws will be implemented to ensure the safety of the roads? 

In a recent September Global News article, a survey was conducted amongst Cannabis users and the following results were found:

  • 8% of cannabis user say they drive better after using.
  • 29% of cannabis users say that they drive the same when sober.
  • 52% say that they drive worse when using cannabis. 

That is a pretty high percentage of users who feel they are okay to drive while under the influence of cannabis. In a report by Statistics Canada, in 2015 there was close to 3,000 reported drug-impaired driving. There are also reports stating that the highest age group for impaired driving is 20-24, in a report released by Statistics Canada in 2015.

In an effort for the government to target young drivers, stronger penalties have been suggested for drug-impaired driving. For more on this survey, visit GlobaNews.ca.

With legalization approaching the government has looked towards ways to create a safer roads. As of now there will be zero tolerance for drivers aged 21 and under, or novice drivers to have a detectable presence of any substance in their system.

“The government said the other two proposed offences would be similar to the offences for drunk driving. Drivers with more than five nanograms of THC in their blood would be punished with a mandatory fine of $1,000 for a first offence, 30 days imprisonment for a second offence and 120 days for a third offence”-CBC News

All drivers have to stay under the limit which is still to be determined. There have been issues deciding how to determine what the exact legal limit for THC in the driver’s system should be. A saliva drug screening device will test the driver’s degree of intoxication. The device should be approved in the near future.

In the article by The Star released in September 2017 by Robert Benzie, “those convicted of the offence (Cannabis impaired driving), can have their license suspended for 30 days and fines up to $450. That’s a huge difference to the current penalties of a 24-hour suspension and no fine.”

The Global News Article by Shawn Jeffords stats that “any driver who fails an on roadside screening device would be fined up to $450. If the driver refuses to do the roadside test they face a fine of $550.”

Drivers who have a blood drug concentration of more than two nanograms of THC (per milliliter of blood), but less than five nanograms, could be found guilty of drugged driving under the proposed summary offence which has a maximum fine of $1,000.

With the repercussions of this offence are still undetermined for certain CBC News has released an article more recently in October, which goes more in depth of the expected limits for driving. “Drivers caught with more than five nanograms of THC in their blood would be guilty of impaired driving, while drivers with both alcohol and THC in their system would be considered impaired if they have more than 50 milligrams of alcohol (per 100 milliliters of blood) and greater than 2.5 nanograms of THC in their blood.”


How Can We Help?

So how can The Traffic Lawyers ® help you if you find yourself with this offence? Marijuana is a less serious substance and classified under schedule 2 of the Controlled Substance Act, however, we do suggest fighting the offence. Our company has extensive knowledge of possession charges. These charges are certainly defendable.  

We offer free consultations, either by telephone or in person at one of our office locations and we generally charge fixed fees so you will know the full cost of hiring a DUI Lawyer to handle your case. If you require the services of a DUI Lawyer, please give us a call at 416-284-9060 or 905-847-2777 or 1-877-733-2203

At The Traffic Lawyers we have trained DUI Lawyers with experience in these laws. This does not mean that every case a DUI Lawyer is hired on will automatically be defeated.

“However, with are skilled and experienced lawyers if there is a way to defend the charge then our Lawyers will find it.If there is a way to negotiate the charge to a lesser offence then our DUI Lawyers will do so! and if defences are not available, our DUI Lawyers will so advise. The consequences of a conviction are unfortunately always dramatic and therefore a DUI Lawyer is always required to analyze each individual case and render a legal opinion.”


To find out more how The Traffic Lawyers ® can help you go to our website www.thetrafficlawyers.ca or give us a call toll-free at 1-877-733-2203!

“Ontario’s Leading Traffic Offence Law Firm!”


References

Statistics Canada. (2016, December 14). Impaired driving in Canada, 2015 Impaired driving in Canada, 2015. Retrieved April 19, 2018, from http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-002-x/2016001/article/14679-eng.htm

The Canadian Press, S. (2018, February 16). Sale of recreation marijuana in Canada delayed until August. Retrieved April 19, 2018, from https://globalnews.ca/news/4030429/recreational-marijuana-canada-sale-delay-august/

Jeffords, S. (2017, December 07). Ontario drivers worry legal marijuana will impact road safety: CAA survey. Retrieved April 19, 2018, from https://globalnews.ca/news/3902993/ontario-legal-marijuana-road-safety-caa/

Zimonjic, P. (2017, October 14). Government releases legal limits for drugged driving but can’t say how much pot is too much | CBC News. Retrieved April 19, 2018, from http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/drugged-driving-limits-thc-1.4354336