August 6, 20220 from Western Standard
According to an article published by Blacklock’s Reporter, the number of people caught high behind the wheel is up for the fourth year in a row. StatsCanada data also showed police reported 7,690 incidents of drug-impaired driving violations in 2021. This is compared to the 7,621 incidents reported in 2020. In 2018, Parliament legalized recreational marijuana use and 6,573 violations were reported.
Aside from drug-impaired driving violations, other marijuana crimes also increased in 2021 according to analysts. The report stated that “nationally the rate of police-reported cannabis offences under the Cannabis Act and Controlled Drugs And Substances Act increased for the first time in nine years, rising 5% in 2021”.
Bill C-46, An Act to Amend the Criminal Code, was also passed when marijuana was legalized. This Bill permitted random roadside testing of driving, with a threat of $1000 fines for a failed test. In 2018, StatsCanada’s Centre for Justice Statistics stated in a testimony that it could not forecast the impact of legalization on impaired driving.
A report by The Department of Public Safety said that marijuana had become a “major contributor” to fatal road accidents. The report also contributed drug-impaired driving as a reason for fatal road crashes, saying that young people are still the largest group of drivers who die in car crashes and test positive for drugs.