Nova Scotians among those most likely to get behind the wheel after consuming cannabis
According to Stats Canada, 4.6 million people have admitted to using cannabis in some form over the past three months. Nova Scotia has the highest percentage of users in Canada at 21 per cent.
Nova Scotia also has one of the highest numbers for people who have admitted to driving within two hours of consuming cannabis, at 16.8 per cent. A Stats Canada study says Alberta is the only province above that at 21.7 percent. Nationally 14.3 per cent admit to driving in that two-hour window.
READ MORE: Nova Scotia brings in marijuana legislation
Const. Chard Morrison with Halifax District RCMP said driving while high is no different from drinking and driving.
“It can affect your co-ordination, your balance and your ability to multitask, your judgement, your reaction time,” Const. Morrison said.
RCMP lay between 80 to 100 impaired driving charges related to drugs every year. Between 25 to 30 per cent of those are from marijuana.
As legalization of marijuana nears, there are new tools in the works to detect impaired driving for drugs. Oral fluid screening devices will be able to test saliva to detect THC or cocaine.
When it comes to drinking, the legal limit for blood alcohol level is 0.08, but drivers can have their licenses suspended in Nova Scotia if caught with a blood alcohol level between 0.05 and 0.08.
Currently there is no such level for marijuana, and police are advising that it is best to avoid getting behind the wheel if you are planning to take any sort of drugs.
Police ask you to put a plan in place to have some means of getting to where you are going without having to drive yourself, because you don’t know if you’re going to be impaired or not.
Recreational marijuana is set to become legal on Oct. 17, but driving under the influence will remain illegal.
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