Seriously, is this too good to be true? Pinch us. We’ve waited until the last-minute to share our findings and countdown the legalization of cannabis in Canada! By now you’ve received your Cannabis Act postcard in the mail, so you know the basics, and while news changes, we are sharing what we found substantial as well.
Cannabis legalization starts tomorrow, on October 17, 2018 as was approved with Bill C-45 and accompanied by Bill C-46, (the laws surrounding the legalization). The actual standard way to test how each individual is affected by cannabis seems mysterious and vague just yet, but video games may be one way that will be replacing urine tests to check for impairment and your ability to do your job in workplaces. On the other hand, some more mystery remains around the accuracy of roadside drug test equipment. Many articles have noted that some of the equipment was not proven to be to successful in impairment testing for any temperatures outside of 4 – 40* C. While Vancouver Police Chief, states they will not use the *Draeger 5000 device to test drivers, the RCMP haven’t confirmed their decisions just yet. So which roadside saliva or blood test will become standard to accurately detect THC presence? That comes with a $1000 fine, if the millilitre of blood count shows between 2 and 5 nanograms(ng) and that being said, the law requires blood tests from suspects before any convictions.
What amount of cannabis use that makes each individual “exceed”, has yet to be determined to our knowledge. Moreover, each province has different laws and independent regulations, so look into each one individually for more information, and the “need to know” as legalization proceeds. Alberta, in particular, can expect legalization at the age of 18+ but with more fines and more random breathe screening for alcohol. Meanwhile, other provinces may set the legalization at older ages. If there is suspected cannabis use, special screening would apply after that. Basically, it’s recommended not to drive when smoking cannabis or drinking alcohol. That’s a given, and the usual no tolerance stands for those still holding a graduated licence when consuming any alcohol or marijuana substance. An officer may demand a breathe sample anytime they stop a driver, even if they have no indicator of consumption.
An article, on cannabisnow.com reported on Canadians who have involvement in the corporate cannabis industry, will be denied crossing the US border. Now, reversed the US Customs and Border Protections will allow those who work in the cannabis industry to enter instead of previously being banned. Meanwhile, in Vancouver, B.C., (and across the country) crack downs and raids have begun, as once legalization commences, and in B.C. the only licensed province-wide retail outfit for B.C. cannabis will be in Kamloops, B.C. Making it more difficult to obtain, more control, more seizing the products, more fines and “more arrests after legalization”. Are we still talking legal? As told by BC Public Safety Minister, Mike Farnworth, illegal stores can shut down by their own volition or be shut down by the enforcement unit that will be in place in BC.” The fines that will be administered or a maximum 14 years in prison apply.
The Cannabis Act as defined on the Government of Canada’s site, is to create a strict legal framework for controlling the production, distribution, sale and possession of cannabis across Canada. Cannabis access for medical purposes that’s in place now, continues for those under the new Act. Interestingly, the Government has committed $46 million over the next five years for cannabis public education and awareness activities, that especially seek to inform the youth about health and safety risks involved with cannabis consumption. 161 million dollars in total for funding for police training and drug-testing equipment over the next five years, including public awareness campaigns while mentioned parents are really encouraged and the ones that need to talk to their children, about all the information surrounding the legalization and use of cannabis.
Again, take into account each province and territory, licenses and oversees the distribution and sale of cannabis subject to federal laws or conditions. From there they can increase the minimum age (but not lower it), lower possession amounts in their jurisdiction, as well as create additional rules for growing at home such as lowering the number of plants per residence and dictate the places where cannabis can be consumed. Mounties (RCMP) will be banned from using legal pot anywhere from 28 days before a shift, Toronto Police are considering the 28 day rule as well, and Vancouver Police are taking a different stance called “fit for duty”. This requires no specific time ban, while Calgary Police have a “zero tolerance”, so those in law enforcement work can see the guidelines vary as well.
Overall, know your facts accordingly. Here’s the official documentation from the Government of Canada online: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/health/campaigns/legalizing-strictly-regulating-cannabis-facts.html . Download a copy of the facts sheet to view, and check it out on our “Events” page to mark the end of 95 years of cannabis prohibition in Canada. We hope you have a happy Canada Cannabis Legalization Day~!
Higher Learning by Steve Kupferman- AMA Insider (Magazine) Fall 2018