Article by Patty Winsa, Toronto Star
If you could look into a crystal ball to see the future of drug-impaired driving on Ontario roads come October 17, you might see Colorado.
Since cannabis was legalized there four years ago, statistics on marijuana and driving compiled by the state found that more than 20 per cent of drivers involved in fatal accidents had some level of cannabis in their system.
And a survey this year of more than 15,000 cannabis users in the state found that nearly 70 per cent of them had driven under the influence of marijuana at least once in the past year. Forty per cent of them said they didn’t think it affected their ability to drive.
“It was a signal that reaffirmed our suspicion that a lot of marijuana users drive after using marijuana. And that’s problematic,” says Sam Cole, a safety communications manager at the Colorado Department of Transportation.
It’s a worrying trend across the U.S., where 12 of every 100 weekend nighttime drivers involved in crashes between 2013 and 2014 tested positive for THC, up from 8.6 in 2007, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. As of this year, recreational marijuana is legal in nine states.