BC’s public safety minister is clearing the air about cannabis use and driving
He says if you choose to use — then don’t drive.
Mike Farnworth (pictured) says in an op-ed sent to media, cannabis reduces your ability to drive safely
“Research shows crash risk increases with cannabis consumption and can be significantly greater if your blood drug concentration is over the Criminal Code limit. Drinking alcohol compounds the impairing effect of even a small amount of cannabis.”
The minister says police have the tools and skills needed to detect drivers impaired by drugs or alcohol.
“The penalties are serious. Beyond recent changes to the Criminal Code, we’re toughening provincial sanctions. On Oct. 17, 2018, we extended B.C.’s zero-tolerance restriction for the presence of alcohol to cover the presence of specific drugs, such as THC and cocaine, for new drivers in the Graduated Licensing Program. And in spring 2019, we’ll provide police with more tools to remove drug-affected drivers from the road for 90 days – a much more serious sanction than the existing 24-hour driving prohibition.”
Farnworth says it’s a topic families should discuss.
“I hope you’ll talk to your loved ones – of all ages. In a roadside survey conducted last spring, the number of participating drivers who tested positive for drugs was up 15% from 2012, with more than two-thirds of those drivers testing positive for cannabis. And drug use was most prevalent among those aged 25 and under, and over 55.”
With the first holiday season of legal cannabis upon us, some additional concerns have emerged: a new survey indicates many people think it’s OK to drive after smoking a joint and many will celebrate with both alcohol and cannabis.”
Farnworth says you can take marijuana with you – but there are rules about transporting it in a vehicle.
“You’re probably aware that nobody is allowed to have open alcohol or consume it in a motor vehicle. The same goes for medical and non-medical cannabis. Cannabis in its original, sealed packaging can be stored anywhere in a vehicle. But if it’s unsealed, it has to be out of reach of the driver and passengers – for example, in the trunk.”
For more information, visit: www.getcannabisclarity.ca