Potholes: The New Fight Over ‘Drugged Driving’

Article by Joseph Hall, The Toronto Star

Potholes: The new fight over ‘drugged driving’ Marijuana will soon be legal in Canada. But a study from a Toronto doctor suggests the risks of pot-impaired drivers are, well, high. New laws governing drugged driving which will accompany the legalization of marijuana this summer are proving to be controversial — particularly the issue of measuring impairment. (CARLOS OSORIO / TORONTO STAR). JOSEPH HALL Feature Writer

Canada’s 4/20 celebration of all things pot may be more festive than ever this year as partakers anticipate the laws legalizing marijuana coming this summer.

But a new study showing significantly increased traffic deaths on the April 20 “high holiday” is a sobering reminder of the dangers that marijuana — and freer access to it — could pose on the country’s roadways.

The study, co-authored by Toronto physician Donald Redelmeier, suggests the number of fatal accidents in the United States on 4/20 increase at magnitudes that rival those seen on drink-happy Super Bowl Sundays

And as the Bill C-45 cannabis legislation lumbers through the Senate, debate is also focusing on accompanying legislation that will set out testing procedures and penalties for “drugged driving.”

Indeed, heated arguments over the proposed Criminal Code amendment — known as Bill C-46 — have spilled out of the upper chamber to cause a kind of road rage between leaders of two prominent advocacy groups.

“The thing is, he’s full of crap,” says MADD Canada head Andrew Murie of a key opponent.

That opponent, John Conroy, president of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, known as NORML, says Murie “obviously doesn’t understand how (cannabis) works.”

The two embody the broader arguments over the bill — arguments that pit critical deterrence strategies against concepts of fairness and justice.

Read the full article here.

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