This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Friday, August 12, 2016

The Woolly, Wild West of Pot Legislation

"The legalization of marijuana could lead to a significant increase in drug-impaired driving cases."
"For example, in Colorado, in the year following marijuana legalization there was a 32 percent increase in marijuana-related traffic deaths."
Justice Ministry classified memorandum

"That's why it's so important to do the work upfront to educate Canadians and to provide law enforcement and the justice system with the tools they need to control that illegal behaviour on our roadways."
"There will be the discussion about what's safe. And that discussion will range from a total prohibition -- so no use of drugs in driving -- to determining a safe level."  
"We recognize its urgency."
"It’s very difficult to identify and to prove a level of impairment by marijuana. We have good tools for alcohol. We do not currently have good tools for cannabis."
Member of Parliament Bill Blair, former Toronto police chief
The University of Iowa's National Advanced Driving Simulator, where researchers have been getting drivers high on marijuana and testing their ability to drive. (Chris Corday/CBC)

 Mothers Against Drunk Driving, in their concern over the possibility that drug-induced driving accidents will rise with the 2017 legalization of marijuana in Canada, call for Criminal Code amendments to adequately address the issue. Cannabis, emphasizes Marie-Claude Morin of MADD, should logically and legally be subject to the very same laws currently applying to driving under the influence of alcohol.

Should the Code be amended with two impaired-driving offences separate from one another in the code, it could result in a legal limit imposed of active tetrahydrocannabinol in the bloodstream for detection purposes. The legal limit in Washington and Colorado is five nanograms of THC per millilitre of blood, while in Nevada and Ohio, the legal limit is two nanograms per millilitre, and other states yet, have chosen instead to opt for zero tolerance.

Stan photo
Stan Thomson was among five teenagers killed in 1999 outside Perth, Ont., in a collision involving a young driver who had used marijuana beforehand. (CBC)
This was the scene of the June 27, 1999 crash that killed Stan and four other teens. (CBC)

But the issue of drug-impaired driving will not fade away; it is one that must be addressed in advance of marijuana's legalization. So far, the issue of legalization is  one whose time has come, since marijuana is used so commonly in society. There are disagreements over its safety, particularly with respect to how it affects brain development in young people. But once marijuana was officially accepted for its medicinal qualities in helping sufferers deal with pain and some specific health conditions, the horses left the open barn.

Those horses are so geared to run that they've opened pot shops in anticipation of instant business and they weren't wrong; business has been thriving. And the pot shops -- although clearly illegal, since marijuana possession remains illegal in the Criminal Code until such time as the prohibition is lifted in spring of 2017 -- shouldn't be in operation, yet they are. And police in Toronto where dozens of shops have opened, and in Ottawa, where about six have, are, for the most part, simply ignoring their presence.

Some of the new pot shops operate as licensed medical marijuana dispensaries, although they have no such license. They sell to people who can provide legitimate paperwork identifying them as patients requiring medical marijuana to deal with their medical condition. They are designed to have a clinical look about them. Others, in contrast, look like pot shops and sell to anyone; marijuana brownies, candies, any form of pot consumption that appeals.

Toronto police raid pot shops
Several marijuana dispensaries, such as this one on Danforth Avenue, were shut down last week after Toronto police raided pot shops deemed illegal by authorities. (Rebecca Silverstone/CBC)

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home

() Follow @rheytah Tweet