Pubdate: Fri, 13 Nov 2015
Source: Metro (Calgary, CN AB)
Copyright: 2015 Metro Canada
Author: Jeremy Simes
Page: 16


MADD Canada hopes the new Liberal government beefs up legislation 
that allows police to better test drivers who might be drug-impaired, 
given the government's plans to legalize pot.

Tracy Franklin, past president of the organization's Calgary chapter, 
said the organization is ramping up campaigns involving drug-impaired 
driving as part of a five-year strategy.

"We'd like to see law enforcement have more tools at their disposal 
to be able to detect those who are drug-impaired and driving," 
Franklin said. "There are so many people who are drug impaired out 
there, and we need to get with the program."

But Keith Fagin, founder and director with Calgary 420 Cannabis 
Community - an advocacy group that looks to legalize the sale of 
marijuana through regulation - said the issue of being drug-impaired 
while driving is more complex than MADD is making it out to be.

He said people's tolerance levels - especially for those who use 
medicinal pot - can be high, meaning some may have more weed in their 
systems without being impaired.

"Regular medical consumers aren't going to be impaired like a person 
who consumes on the weekend," Fagin said.

Federally, section 253 of the Criminal Code of Canada deals with 
impaired driving, prohibiting the use of alcohol or drugs - including 
prescription medication - while operating a vehicle.

A survey commissioned by the Canadian Centre of Substance Abuse found 
4.5 per cent of drivers were impaired by drugs. Of that number, 63.8 
per cent tested positive for cannabis.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom