Government Predicts Legal Pot Will Lead to Influx of Lab Tests

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Are forensic laboratories across Canada about to be overwhelmed by samples of blood, urine, saliva and hair when recreational marijuana becomes legal?

That’s what Public Safety Canada wants to know as the government inches forward on its pledge to legalize the drug. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has promised legislation will be tabled by the spring, and a distribution system could be in place by early 2018.

But as pot enters the legal marketplace, Ottawa has already said that it expects an upswing in the number of people using it. And that means more people misusing it.

In documents published Monday morning, Public Safety Canada notes that as usage increases, police may soon be doing a lot more testing for the presence of marijuana in a person’s system.

“It should be expected that the number of samples requiring lab analysis will increase dramatically once cannabis is legalized, simply because the police will be reacting to the new regime with a similar approach as they do for driving under the influence of alcohol,” the documents note.

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