December 14, 2016
OTTAWA – Parry Sound-Muskoka MP and Official Opposition Public Safety critic, Tony Clement, said this week`s task force report on legalizing marijuana raises serious concerns over law enforcement`s ability to deal with drug-impaired driving.
“We know from US jurisdictions that loosened marijuana laws that there is a spike in drug-related driving charges that takes place. We also know that there is no reliable road-side screening test in Canada to assist police in our communities,” said Clement.
The task force reported that cannabis impairs psychomotor skills and judgment, and that cannabis-impaired driving is more complex to study than alcohol-impaired driving. The report also confirmed that high school-aged drivers are far more likely to drive following cannabis use than after drinking alcohol. MADD Canada found there were 614 road fatalities in 2012 where drivers had drugs present in their system, compared to 476 fatalities where alcohol was present.
“What is clear from this report, is that much more research and works needs to be done. The government should be proceeding with extreme caution. It will also be important to take a serious look at the Bill tabled by Senator Claude Carignan, that calls for the implementation of road-side screening devices for drug-impaired driving,” said Clement.