Medicated while driving: Medicinal cannabis patients get a break under Bill 174

Medicated while driving: Medicinal cannabis patients get a break under Bill 174

For all the medical cannabis patients worried about being thrown in jail for driving while treated, there’s good news- at least for those who reside in Ontario.

Bill 174, aka the Cannabis, Smoke-Free Ontario and Road Statute Law Amendment Act, contains an important amendment to Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act.

“Exceptions are made to the rules respecting driving with a medication from the body if a police officer is satisfied that the driver is legally authorized to use the drug for medical purposes. ”

The passage can be seen from the post from Weedstagram below:

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Bill 174 came into force as soon as it received Royal Assent, which was back in December 2017, and while it’s great that the Ontario government has recognized that medicating does not automatically mean drunk, it still leaves it up to the officer’s discretion. It’s not a get-out-of-jail-free card.

For all other non-medical users, if an officer decides to test you for drug-impaired driving, you’d have to do a standard field sobriety test followed by a Drug Recognition Evaluation. If you failed those, you may have to supply a urine sample and confront impaired driving charges if it comes up positive.

More police forces

Right now, the police need to suspect you’re impaired before they test you, but Bill C-46 is removing that requirement, giving the police the power to pull you over and examine you whenever they feel like it, even if you’re driving absolutely fine.

It’s also worth noting that the machines that the government is thinking about using to conduct saliva tests for THC will stop detecting it after 6-8 hours. That’s a very long time to wait before driving if you want to be 100% in the clear.

This has led to a lot of confusion and uncertainty, especially with the increased penalties for drug-impaired driving enacted under Bill C-46, and it’s great that Ontario carved out an exemption for medical users,  but it still leaves all the recreational users wondering how much they can take and how long they have to wait before jumping behind the wheel again.

Featured image courtesy of Len’s Driving School.

Sources

Globe and Mail: How will Canada’s new drugged-driving rules really work? .

National Post: How much cannabis could you smoke and stay under the proposed legal limit for driving? The answer might be zero.

Released at Sat, 21 Jul 2018 20:33:02 +0000

Posted in: News

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