Article by Kevin Maimann, StarMetro Edmonton
Medical marijuana users worry they won’t be able to get behind the wheel once cannabis is legalized for recreational use.
Under the federal government’s new impaired-driving rules, a motorist can be fined up to $1,000 for having two to five nanograms (ng) of THC per millilitre of blood within two hours of driving, and can be punished criminally for more than five ng.
Spruce Grove, Alta., resident Darryl Kolewaski, who takes medical marijuana for arthritis, said his THC levels are consistently more than 10 times higher than that threshold.
“When I wake up in the morning, after not medicating since the night before I went to bed, I wake up with 25 nanograms in my blood. So that’s a huge concern to me if they’re swabbing you,” Kolewaski said.
“Later in the day, I’ve gone as high as 70 or 80 nanograms — none of that, however, being (impairing) to me. I’m not unable to operate or function. I can function completely normally.”
Kolewaski was prescribed cannabis in 2010 to ease the symptoms of his arthritis. Prescription drugs he took in the past gave him stomach problems and other issues, but cannabis has allowed him to function normally. He said he has never felt impaired from using the dose prescribed by his physician.