Drug-Impaired Driving on the Rise: Research

Article by Toronto Sun

Drug-impaired driving on the rise: Research Postmedia News Having a strong prescription Perspective from a car with blurred lights in the background.

Drug-impaired driving has been on the increase since 2009 when police forces introduced drug recognition experts, according to Department of Public Safety research.

Behind the wheel, cannabis can affect motor skills and reaction time, impair memory and the capacity to focus, and reduce decision-making ability.

According to a Blacklock’s Reporter story, the Department of Public Safety research has shown a quarter of marijuana users — 26% — acknowledge driving under the influence.

Almost the same number (23%) believe driving under the influence of cannabis is less dangerous than driving under the influence of alcohol.

Blacklock’s also states that the Department of Public Safety research says 12% of cannabis users admit to buying cannabis from drug dealers instead of licensed retailers; elsewhere in the story, Blacklock’s Reporter says that fewer than half (48%) bought their cannabis at federally-licensed retailers. About 15% bought “from a friend.”

These figures seem low, considering that in Ontario alone, Doug Ford’s government lost more than $40 million of taxpayers’ money on legal marijuana sales in the first year after legalization.

An Ekos Research survey entitled Pubic Opinion Research on Drug Impaired Driving says cannabis use has increased with legislation, according to Blacklock’s Reporter.

Despite hefty fines for drug-impaired driving, one in three Canadians say they have ridden in a car driven by someone under the influence of cannabis.

The Ekos research highlighted the importance of an educational campaign to be undertaken prior to legalization. The survey poll included about 2000 people, including Canadians under 24 as well as the parents of teenagers.

Blacklock’s claims 38% of parents said their teenage children use marijuana, although cannabis is not legal for minors.

Interestingly, a recent report from the Canadian Alcohol, Tobacco and Drug Survey, which polls from 40,000 respondents in Canada, shows cannabis use among 15- to 17-year-olds has fallen almost 10% since legalization.

Read the full article here.

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