Tickets reflect ‘learning curve’ on cannabis laws, say Manitoba RCMP

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WATCH: Manitoba RCMP said Wednesday the number of tickets issued to drivers relating to new cannabis legislation is indicative of people becoming familiar with the new rules – Feb 20, 2019

It’s been four months since cannabis became legalized in Canada, leading to a new set of rules enforced by police on Manitoba roads.

RCMP have issued 75 cannabis-related tickets since Oct. 17, 2018. Of those, 57 were for unlawful transportation of cannabis in a vehicle while 11 were for consumption of cannabis in a vehicle.

READ MORE: Legal pot in Manitoba — here’s a refresher on rules

RCMP say the numbers are not a true reflection of what is really happening when it comes to cannabis use in cars.

Manitoba RCMP Sgt. Paul Manaigre said officers can only issue tickets for infractions they catch, and they know there are more people out there driving drug-impaired or with improperly stored product in their vehicles.

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“What these numbers suggest is there is a learning curve since the law came into effect in October,” Manaigre said.

“People may think, you know, at the time [it] wasn’t a concern, but now not realizing ‘oh, now it’s a law’, technically you can be charged.”

In addition to issuing the 75 tickets, RCMP have launched four investigations for motorists suspected of driving high — lab results are still pending.

They also issued two in-field license suspensions.

READ MORE: Manitoba speeder shows officer a joint, is charged with drug trafficking

Manaigre said that while officers are always looking, they are not specifically focusing on cannabis offences.

“They’re enforcing what they see … say you might conduct a traffic stop for speeding and come into contact with someone who’s consuming cannabis in the vehicle, you’re going to act on what you find at the time,” Manaigre said.

Inside the Perimeter, Winnipeg Police said they have issued 52 cannabis-related tickets since October.

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