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Waterloo Regional Police launch #HIGHstakes campaign to educate pot users

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While smoking weed became legal on Wednesday, driving while high still isn’t.

That’s the message Waterloo Regional Police have launched a new campaign, titled #HIGHstakes, to try and bring that point home to pot users.

READ MORE: Waterloo emergency personnel can use weed but must be ‘fit for duty’

“Cannabis is now legal, but driving impaired is not,” Waterloo Police Chief Bryan Larkin said. “Impaired driving is the leading criminal cause of death and injury in Canada and we are committed to keeping our roads free from any type of impairment.”

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More than 300 Waterloo officers have been trained in Standardized Field Sobriety Tests which are designed to recognize when drivers are impaired by either drinking alcohol or smoking pot.

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There are also 14 drug recognition experts with specialized training in the recognition of drug impairment.

Waterloo police say the number of officers who have received training in the area will increase by the end of the year.

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“Drugs can impair your ability to drive safely, slowing your reaction time and your ability to make decisions,” said Chief Larkin. “If you drive high, you’re not only risking your own life, but the lives of those you’re sharing the road with.”