April 18, 2017 8:17 am
Updated: April 18, 2017 12:00 pm

Bill Blair calls Marc Emery’s claim that pot makes people better drivers ‘complete nonsense’

WATCH ABOVE: Liberal MP & former Toronto police chief Bill Blair responds to Marc Emery's comments about the apparent benefits of driving high.

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Former Toronto police chief and federal marijuana point man Bill Blair says Marc Emery is “spouting complete nonsense” after making a claim that pot makes people better drivers.

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“I have to tell you. I was a cop for 40 years and I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard a drunk tell me he drives better after he’s been drinking and we heard the same nonsense from a pothead,” Blair said during an interview on Global’s The Morning Show on Tuesday.

Canada’s self-proclaimed “Prince of Pot” made the controversial statement on Monday while speaking to The Morning Show‘s Jeff McArthur.

READ MORE: Marc Emery claims smoking marijuana makes people better drivers

“Remember, pot doesn’t impair you,” Emery said. “This idea, one of the many myths I have to clear out in the next 18 months, is that pots impairs you. Marijuana makes you more self-aware of your situation, so you’ll be a better driver if you smoke pot regularly.”

Blair said studies have proven that marijuana impairs decision making, cognitive ability, memory and pyschomotor skills.

“A recent Canadian study indicated that it increases the likelihood of being involved in an accident four-fold,” Blair explained.

“It clearly impairs a person’s ability to operate a motor vehicle in a different way than alcohol, but definitely the science is unequivocal and clear.”

READ MORE: Pot legalization in Canada: Here’s what you need to know about proposed law

Blair maintains Emery’s comments goes against good public policy and the basis of evidence used to develop the federal government’s marijuana legalization bill.

“Clearly Mr. Emery is an advocate and a profiteer. He has a self interest in this,” Blair said. “But that type of nonsense really doesn’t inform good public policy. We’d rather rely on advice from experts and the science that is available on this.”

Introduced last Thursday, the proposed legislation would allow adults 18 and over to possess up to 30 grams of dried cannabis or its equivalent in public, share up to 30 grams of dried marijuana with other adults and buy cannabis or cannabis oil from a provincially regulated retailer.

New penalties for offences would range from a simple police citation to 14 years behind bars.

The federal government said the plan is to have a legalized ​pot system in place by the end of June 2018.

VIDEO: Marijuana prohibition ‘is failing our kids, communities’: Bill Blair

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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