Written by Melanie Marquis for The Canadian Press.
Before proceeding with its pot-legalization agenda next spring, the Liberal government is promising to tackle the issue of drug-impaired driving, which bureaucrats say could spike considerably if marijuana becomes legal.
Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould was warned by officials in January of the risks, a classified briefing document obtained by The Canadian Press shows.
“The legalization of marijuana could lead to a significant increase in drug-impaired driving cases,” the memorandum reads.
Bureaucrats say there is limited data as only two jurisdictions in the United States have legalized marijuana: Colorado and Washington.
“For example, in Colorado, in the year following marijuana legalization, there was a 32 per cent increase in marijuana-related traffic deaths,” the memo reads.
“That’s why it’s so important to do the work upfront to educate Canadians and to provide law enforcement and the justice system with the tools they need to control that illegal behaviour on our roadways,” said the Toronto MP, who is the Liberals’ point man on marijuana legalization.