Since recreational cannabis became legal in Canada last October, the majority of marijuana-related charges the Edmonton Police Service have laid have been for improper transport.
According to the provincial Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Act, “no person may transport cannabis in a vehicle unless the cannabis is contained in closed packaging that is out of reach of the driver and any other occupants of the vehicle.”
Between Oct. 17, 2018 and May 31, 2019, 149 of 245 charges EPS laid under the Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Act — or 61 per cent — were for improper transport.
The EPS believes a lot of this is due to confusion around the laws.
“We’re finding that many citizens are doing everything legally, going to the licensed retail store to buy their cannabis, but then they’re driving home with their purchase on their back seat,” Const. Dexx Williams said Tuesday.
“We don’t want to lay charges or give tickets to people who are trying to follow the laws but we have to take violations involving cannabis in vehicles very seriously.”
Police suggest that cannabis should be in a sealed package in the trunk. Police are also reminding citizens that it is illegal for anyone to use cannabis in a vehicle, including passengers.
The service is launching a public education campaign called “Put Your Skunk in the Trunk” to address these misconceptions.
In addition to public advertising and social media interaction, police will be working with cannabis retailers to make sure citizens know how to transport their purchase legally.
For more information from Edmonton police about cannabis, click here.