B.C. Minister of Public Safety Mike Farnworth said there’s not yet any framework in place to crack down on impaired drivers as the legalization of marijuana looms.
The comments came as Ontario said it plans to introduce tougher penalties for drivers caught behind the wheel while under the influence of cannabis.
Instead, the province is waiting to see what changes will be made by the federal government with Bill C-46, legislation that will amend Canada’s impaired driving laws, Farnworth said Tuesday.
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“What I’d like to see British Columbia do is work with other provinces so we have a common regime right across the country. That would probably be the best way to go,” he said.
“At this particular time, we haven’t put in place what a specific penalty would be.”
As for intoxication tests, Farnworth said the province will also look to Ottawa for help.
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But issues surrounding testing for marijuana-related impaired driving will need to be resolved by the time pot is legalized July next year, Farnworth insisted.
Last week, Ontario’s public safety minister said that province will bring in increased fines and longer suspensions for drivers who break the law.
Ontario is also implementing a zero tolerance policy for teens aged 21 and under, novice drivers and all commercial drivers in the province.
Senior Canadian police officials have also asked Ottawa to postpone the legalization date, over concerns that more time is needed to teach officers how to enforce new laws.
Ottawa has pledged to table legislation legalizing marijuana for recreational use by July 2018.