Too many people getting behind wheel with drugs in their system
As federal legalization of marijuana seems more and more like an
inevitability, a new poll commissioned by Manitoba Public Insurance
shows 10% of Manitobans drive with drugs in their system.
The roadside survey was conducted in September 2016 in five Manitoba
communities, including Winnipeg, and found 10% of drivers who
voluntarily participated tested positive for drugs, more than half of
those testing positive for cannabis.
Of the 1,230 drivers who participated, 124 tested positive for a drug,
with 53% of those positive for cannabis and 31% for cocaine.
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Officers from across the province, including in P.A. undergo training
to help take those who are driving while impaired by drugs off the
Police across the province learning how to identify drivers impaired
by drugs A number of police officers from across Saskatchewan,
including members of the Prince Albert Police Service, are receiving
training to learn how to recognize drivers impaired by drugs.
Unlike impaired driving due to alcohol, there is no roadside-screening
device which can indicate whether someone has been driving under the
influence of a drug to the point where they have become impaired.
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Marijuana will soon be legal in Canada. But what does that mean for
the safety of our teenagers?
The simple election promise made by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, one
which he shows every sign of keeping, turns out not to be simple at
all. What kind of restrictions should there be around selling weed?
Will it be tested so that we can be sure it's safe?
What should be the minimum age to buy it? Who's going to sell it? If
the government taxes it, what should happen to the money? And what
about impaired driving?
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The parliamentary secretary to the minister of justice says the
federal government will be looking to Niagara's agricultural sector
for guidance when framing legislation to legalize marijuana.
Scarborough West MP Bill Blair, the former Toronto police chief, said
Thursday the knowledge of Niagara's farming industry will be
invaluable for a government trying to determine how to regulate
production of pot.
"The interesting thing about coming to Niagara is that the region has
a vibrant agricultural sector, including all the wineries," Blair
said. "That experience is very useful."
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It seems the TTC union protests too much.
What exactly are they afraid of? Why are they so opposed to random
drug and alcohol testing that they were in court Tuesday seeking an
injunction to stop management from starting the testing on April 1?
London has it. So does New York City and Sydney. If they are
responsible for millions of passenger trips a years, why shouldn't
they be willing to abide by the strictest measurements of sobriety on
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As spring approaches, so does the federal government's promise to
introduce legislation to legalize marijuana. The Justin Trudeau
government announced back in April of last year that it would be
introducing new legislation next spring. So now that spring is almost
upon us, will that bill be coming soon?
Even when that bill arrives, it still needs to pass through the House
of Commons and the Senate.
That could take months, perhaps extend into early 2018, and even then,
the passing of the bill doesn't mean legal marijuana will be available
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Union slams allegations in court document as 'absolutely false'
The TTC's workforce has a substance abuse problem that could put
passengers and the public at serious risk if it's not addressed,
according to a court document filed by the transit agency.
But a representative of the union that represents TTC workers calls
the allegations of substance abuse "absolutely false."
In a factum the TTC submitted before a hearing this week on its
proposed random drug and alcohol testing policy, the agency said that
between October 2010 and December 2016 there were 291 incidents in
which employees' behaviour raised safety concerns. In almost half of
those, the TTC either suspected or confirmed drug or alcohol use.
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More than half the medical-marijuana patients in a new study said they
use cannabis to help them get off heavier prescription drugs, with the
largest percentage saying pot acts as a substitute painkiller for opioids.
The new research, published in the peer-reviewed International Journal
of Drug Policy but funded by a licensed cannabis grower Tilray, adds
to a small body of science that suggests patients are effectively
using marijuana to replace opioids, a class of legal and illicit
painkillers that has led to an ongoing crisis that killed hundreds of
Canadians last year.
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OTTAWA - Expert testimony can be admitted in drugged-driving trials
without preliminary examination of evidence, the Supreme Court said
Thursday in a decision that could expedite the judicial process in the
The 5-2 court decision on the case of an Ottawa motorist comes as the
federal Liberal government prepares to introduce long-promised
legislation to legalize the recreational use of pot.
"Driving while impaired by drugs is a dangerous and, sadly, common
activity, prohibited by the Criminal Code," Chief Justice Beverley
McLachlin wrote in her reasons for the majority decision.
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The saga of the Green Tree marijuana dispensary, the West Shore RCMP
and the City of Langford is a microcosm of the Wild West cannabis
policy (or lack thereof) which has caused confusion all over Vancouver
Consider what has happened in this tale so far: Green Tree opened its
doors in January in Langford, only to get shut down the next day by
the RCMP. Only a few weeks later it is back open for business, much to
the consternation of the City of Langford, which refuses to issue a
business licence. A few days later, the West Shore RCMP move in to
shut it down again, this time arresting two people and seizing
marijuana on the premises.
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The Supreme Court has ruled that specifically trained officers can be
experts in drugged-driving trials
Police officers trained to recognize if drivers are high can be
treated as experts in drugged driving trials without a preliminary
examination of the evidence, the Supreme Court has ruled in a decision
that could help expedite such prosecutions once marijuana is
The 5-2 decision in the case of an Ottawa motorist comes as the
federal Liberal government prepares to bring in a law legalizing the
recreational use of pot this spring, with a rise in cannabis-impaired
driving singled out as a key risk to public safety.
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After a spike in roadside drug seizures, Athabasca RCMP are reminding
people marijuana is still illegal.
The past month has seen a spike in drug seizures through traffic
stops, with approximately 10 grams of cocaine and methamphetamine and
300 grams of marijuana and marijuana products - such as hash and hash
oil - in 15 separate incidents, said Cpl. Curtis Harsulla, spokesman
for the Athabasca RCMP.
"Some folks think it may be legal soon, but it's not quite there,"
Typically, the traffic enforcement unit may seize 15 to 30 grams of
various drugs every five days, he said.
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Regulatory patchwork across Canada isn't helping anyone
I have never smoked marijuana. Until last week, I had no idea where
one could purchase it. Then someone told me they were going to get
their "green card" from a doctor. This would allow them to purchase
marijuana for medicinal purposes. No pressing medical reason, they
just wanted to buy weed.
As I asked around, I was told by many people who have them that the
process is a joke. You go to a known doctor, give them an excuse for
why you want it and they give it to you. Multiple people told me there
was no examination or any probing into why they wanted it. They just
got it. There are even websites that, for a fee, will tell you which
doctors to see.
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Nenshi wants city prepared for legalization
Denver's Dan Rowland advised Calgary's city council to go slow, expect
the unexpected, and introduce strict regulations and robust
enforcement as Calgary prepares for the looming federal legalization
Denver, Colorado became the first city in the world to legalize
recreational marijuana sales on January 1, 2014, and Rowland was in
Calgary Monday to share what his city has learned at a lengthy council
education session on the drug.
"Part of what I do is to help folks understand that this is not
necessarily a game-changing experience," said Rowland, a citywide
communications adviser with the city of Denver.
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Police and drug experts say it's more complicated and expensive than
nabbing those who are drunk, writes Joanne Laucius.
What, exactly, does it mean to be one toke over the
That's one of many questions that will have to be answered as Canada
moves toward legalizing marijuana and police wonder if they're
equipped to crack down on stoned drivers.
"We're having our challenges. The most pressing one is that we don't
know what the legislation will look like. It makes it hard to train
and prepare," said Supt. Gord Jones of the Toronto Police, the
co-chair of the Canadian Chiefs of Police traffic committee.
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RE: Seeing through the fog on marijuana (Jan. 24)
Excellent article by Howard Elliott on marijuana legalization. It also
reinforces my belief that marijuana dispensaries in Ontario will all
be outlawed if pot is legalized.
The legalization of marijuana will not be welcome for the powerful
lobbyists of pharmaceutical industries because they will lose profits.
The breweries and distilleries will also lose profits because they are
in charge of the "feel good" industry and don't want people buying pot
instead of liquor or beer.
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Another week, another massive study by top doctors and scientists
finding limited medicinal value to marijuana. When liberal politicians
such as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Vancouver Mayor Gregor
Robertson claim to be implementing "evidence-based" public policy, I
find it odd they have such a blind spot with pot.
A new report by the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering,
and Medicine - The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The
Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research - reviewed
10,700 studies on the medicinal qualities of marijuana and concluded
there is "conclusive or substantial evidence that cannabis or
cannabinoids are effective" for only three conditions: chronic pain in
adults, chemotherapy-induced nausea, and patient-reported multiple
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Police forces in Canada testing out devices over February
Next time you come across a police checkpoint in Halifax, you might be
asked to help test a roadside drug-screening device.
Halifax Regional Police (HRP) began a new Public Safety Canada pilot
project a week and half ago, and have until the end of February to
collect 100 saliva samples from anyone who'd like to anonymously
volunteer for the testing in a regular traffic stop.
"This is for us. It's not about any of the public, it's about how
user-friendly are these devices for the police at roadside," Const.
Kristine Fraser of the HRP traffic unit said Thursday. "If you say
'um, no,' (it's) 'okay, thank you for your time,' and you drive away.'"
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Richmond is taking a proactive approach to prevent the potential
proliferation of marijuana dispensaries in the city, as was witnessed
in Vancouver over recent years.
Chief licence inspector Carli Edwards, a former City of Vancouver
bureaucrat, identified a gap in the City of Richmond's zoning bylaws,
which do not specifically prohibit the retail sale of cannabis.
On Monday, councillors tentatively approved a bylaw amendment to ban
dispensaries. Edwards' report notes the city can revisit the ban if
the federal government legalizes the use of marijuana.
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