November 14, 2016 2:27 pm
Updated: November 14, 2016 11:50 pm

A quarter of Canadians polled feel they drive as good or better when high


WINNIPEG — Canadians are worried legalizing marijuana will make driving more dangerous, according to a CAA poll.

The poll surveyed 2012 people and found 63 per cent of them are concerned roads will become less safe if marijuana is legalized.

RELATED: What happens when you’re caught driving stoned? Canada’s Supreme Court may soon tell us

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Another finding showed 26 per cent of respondents aged 18-34 believe drivers perform the same or better while under the influence of marijuana.

“It affects our decision making process, our reaction times,” said Dr. Ginette Poulin, medical director for Addictions Foundation of Manitoba.

“With our youth, with the marijuana trend, this is viewed as essentially a new alcohol in that regard where it’s okay, it’s harmless and that’s a false assumption to make,” she continued.

“We hear that all the time, it’s just pot, it’s just pot but the reality is it’s not just pot,” said addiction counsellor Joey Cowan.

Cowan said if marijuana is legalized, the black market will still thrive as people seek varieties that will get them higher than what is available over-the-counter.

“You’re not just getting marijuana anymore you’re getting marijuana plus whatever the dealer cut it with, which makes it even more dangerous t get behind the wheel of a vehicle,” said Cowan.

A separate study commissioned by CAA also released today said there will be substantial costs associated with implementing enforcement, data collection and education initiatives associated with the legalization of marijuana.

RELATED: If Canada legalizes marijuana, how will cops combat high drivers?

CAA is calling for federally funded education programs and more resources for law enforcement to confront the issue of drivers using marijuana.

The federal government has said it will attempt to legalize marijuana next year.

WATCH: CAA calls for research into drugs and driving

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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