Poll last year following legalisation indicated eight in 10 drivers were worried about cannabis-impaired motoristsWhen recreational cannabis was legalised last fall, the move brought with it plenty of trepidation around how the change might influence daily life, especially around the subject of impaired driving.
In fact, an online survey around that time showed the issue was definitely on the minds of people who were concerned that the legal framework could result in more people driving under the influence of cannabis. The poll was completed by 1,517 Canadian drivers from Aug. 10 to 15, 2018, using Leger’s online panel.
In the poll, 79 percent of respondents voiced worry about impaired drivers once cannabis was legalised. The concerns appear to have been founded, given that 700,000 drivers in Ontario reported they had driven under the influence of alcohol or cannabis in the past three months, reports InsuranceHotline.com.
Conducted on behalf of the Insurance Bureau of Canada, survey results indicated 62 percent of Canadian cannabis users who were respondents have either driven, or have been driven by someone else, who had recently consumed the plant.
The findings further showed 43 percent of respondent consumers had no idea how long they needed to wait after using cannabis before they could drive, though 31 percent did report believing they should wait more than three hours.
Canadian police say they haven’t been busting many more stoned drivers six months after legalisation, but they are reminding drivers to keep cannabis out of reach.https://t.co/8b6BufPNhA
— Kyla Lee (@IRPlawyer) April 27, 2019
It seems respondent worry did not materialize as feared, at least as of this past spring. Driving data since legalisation was analyzed, with multiple news outlets reporting that incidents have not increased. As noted by CTV News, Canadian police have not witnessed a hike in cannabis impaired driving since legalisation.
Most violations pertaining to vehicles and cannabis relates to improper storage. For example, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) cited 962 charges for driving a car or boat with cannabis readily available; the RCMP noted 87 similar charges had been laid in Manitoba.
Statistics from the North West Region OPP, as reported by Kenora Online, indicate 109 impaired driving charges were laid in the district between Jan. 1 and Mar. 1, 2019, up slightly from the 104 in the same period a year earlier.
Source: The GrowthOp