Trudeau Government Says Judging Marijuana Impairment Depends On ‘Case-By-Case Basis’

REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief
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Marijuana will be legal in Canada next week, but the Trudeau government has been unclear in explaining consistent standards to judge whether someone is impaired by the drug or not. Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould told Global News that judging who should be charged with driving under the influence of marijuana depends on the situation.

She explained:

It depends on a case-by-case basis. Police officers have the opportunity to go through a series of tests. They can conduct standard field sobriety tests. We are training drug recognition experts to be able to determine whether or not they are of the view, or see probable grounds, that someone is impaired by drugs, and can build the probable grounds to take a blood sample to determine whether someone has been impaired by drugs.

The standard test for determining impairment due to alcohol relies upon the blood-alcohol count. Marijuana, however, is stored in the fatty tissues of the body, and many critics are wondering whether police are equipped with the right tools to detect marijuana use.

There is also confusion over how long users have to wait to drive after consuming a given amount of cannabis, CTV notes.

Marijuana officially becomes legal throughout Canada on Oct. 17.

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