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Pot-impaired driving cases spike in Quebec since legalization: SQ

What changes we have seen since cannabis was legalized in Canada
It’s been a year since cannabis was legalized in Canada in October 2018. Here are some changes that we’ve seen in Canada since the legalization.

It’s been one year since the Cannabis Act made it legal to consume and possess recreational weed in Canada.

In Quebec, the provincial police released their one-year assessment painting a portrait of the new reality for law enforcement.

READ MORE: Quebec to offer legal cannabis at $4.49 a gram, beating grey-market price

Since October of 2018, the Sûreté du Québec has opened 1,409 cases relating to the production and distribution of illegal cannabis.

More than 1,400 people have been arrested during police search and seizures throughout the province.

The provincial police say 37,000 plants were seized with the deployment of several hours of helicopter reconnaissance in partnership with the Canadian Armed Forces.

READ MORE: One year after cannabis legalization, B.C. minister says there’s still work to do

Police seizures between Oct. 18, 2018 and Sept. 30, 2019

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  • Cannabis plants and buds: more than 71,500 units
  • Cannabis in bulk: 161,000 g
  • Oil: 15,800 g
  • Edibles: 23,460 units
  • Cash: $180,000

Cannabis on Quebec roads

Cannabis is one of the most frequently detected drugs among drivers in Quebec, according to the SQ.

Since the legalization of cannabis, the provincial police have seen the number of pot-impaired driving cases on Quebec roads spike.

READ MORE: Grey market cannabis sellers deeply undercutting legal market, data shows

Specialized drug enforcement officers conducted up to 421 evaluations on drivers suspected of being under the influence, and 113 were arrested after cannabis was detected in their systems.

That represents an increase of 54 per cent compared to the 75 arrests (310 evaluations) in 2017.

According to the SQ, more than 93 per cent of patrol officers are trained to perform movement co-ordination tests on impaired drivers and may subject motorists to a blood test.