Article by Toronto Sun
Canadian police have not seen a spike in cannabis-impaired driving one month since legalization, but there needs to be more awareness of laws around storing marijuana in vehicles and passengers smoking weed, law enforcement officials say.
The Canadian Press canvassed police forces and provincial and territorial Crowns across the country and while some said it was too early to provide data, others said initial numbers and anecdotal impressions suggest stoned driving isn’t on the rise.
“Even before the legislation we were catching a lot of high school kids because marijuana has seemed to be kind of mainstream forever,” said Sgt. Joe Cantelo of the Kennebecasis Regional Police Force in New Brunswick.
“In our department, there’s certainly no rise in impaired driving by (marijuana).”
Police forces in Vancouver, Regina, Newfoundland and Labrador, Yukon, Truro, N.S., and Kensington, P.E.I., all said they hadn’t noticed a significant change in driver behaviour since pot was legalized on Oct. 17.
Obviously drivers can’t consume weed, but many provinces, including British Columbia and Ontario, have banned passengers from toking as well. A joint-smoking passenger in Saanich, B.C., was slapped with a $230 fine a day after legalization, police said.