As you may know, we are currently on the road to legalizing Cannabis in Canada. But this will not be an easy step and there are many different legal issues that have to be addressed. From a cannabis smoker’s perspective it all seems pretty straightforward, Legalize it!!!
But to those uninformed cannabis smokers, there is a huge elephant in the room and it seems like the Canadian government is quick to set laws in place that will affect all smokers while driving under the influence of Cannabis.
Ontario drivers high on drugs lose their licences temporarily
- Ontario drivers caught high on drugs can now temporarily lose their driver’s licence on the spot, just like they would if they were caught drinking and driving.
- If a driver fails a roadside sobriety test due to drugs, they will lose their licence for three days — the same penalty they would receive if they were caught drunk. The driver also has to pay a $180 licence reinstatement fee to the province.
- Sobriety tests include eye exams, walking heel-to-toe in a straight line or standing on one foot during a mental challenge.
Personally, I take issue with these new changes and I believe many cannabis smokers will feel the same way. From personal experience, I have been a cannabis smoker from the age of 18 and I can tell you that I have never had any issues while driving under the influence of Cannabis.
To be honest, the worst effect I have ever felt while driving was being a little tired and hungry, and there is an easy fix for that problem. But now under these new laws, any police officer can stop you, and on his/her judgement based solely on sobriety test due to cannabis, you will temporarily lose your licence on the spot for up to three days and have to pay a $180 reinstatement fee.
There is no way for the officer to know how much cannabis you have smoked or the time between smoking and driving, we are to trust an officer based on judgement and not proven facts or a scientific test that shows THC levels.
Here lies the big problem, any officer can make a decision that is biased and for their own personal reasons. There are too many reasons why this is a bad idea and I believe there will be many court judgements that will be withdrawn or dropped because of the lack of proof and scientific-based evidence.
Penalties worse for repeat-offenders
- After a failed sobriety test, drivers will now be sent to the police station for a battery of physiological tests, including blood pressure and body temperature, by an officer dubbed a drug recognition expert.
- If a driver fails that, their licence will be suspended for 90-days and their vehicle will be impounded for seven days.
The penalties get worse for repeat offenders who fail roadside sobriety tests because they’re deemed to be stoned:
- 1st offence: three-day licence suspension
- 2nd offence: seven-day licence suspension
- 3rd offence: 30-day licence suspension
Clearly, this is an issue that needs to be addressed but jumping the gun to collect revenue seems to be the main goal. I would love stats on cannabis smokers who drive under the influence so we can see how many lives have been lost due to driving while under the influence of cannabis. Clearly, the government has dropped the ball on this one !!!!!