August 11, 2016 5:05 am

Pot legalization in Canada may lead to spike in drug-impaired driving: document

WATCH ABOVE: Police consider how to handle drug-impaired driving


OTTAWA – A document obtained by The Canadian Press says the federal justice minister is being warned that legalizing marijuana could lead to a significant increase in the number of cases of drug-impaired driving.

Federal officials say in briefing material prepared for Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould that the number jumped dramatically in Colorado and Washington, which went ahead with legalization in recent years.

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READ MORE: ‘Drugged Driving Suit’ simulates the physical impact of drug impairment

The document says the number of marijuana-related traffic deaths spiked 32 per cent in Colorado the first year after cannabis was legalized.

There is currently no “legal limit” for drugs as there is for alcohol, and several groups, including law enforcement, have called for one.

READ MORE: Canada has worst drunk-driving death rate among 19 ‘high income’ countries: study

Toronto MP Bill Blair, the Liberal point man on the marijuana-legalization issue, acknowledged the possibility of an increase in such cases, but says Ottawa is looking at solutions like education and providing police with the tools to curb such behaviour.

The Opposition says the federal government is going too fast and should put off its intention to introduce a bill on legalization in the spring of 2017.

VIDEO: “Drugged Driving Suit” gives people idea of effects of driving while impaired by drugs

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