Legislation will be introduced this fall that will increase penalties for individuals that drive under the influence of substances, including cannabis. In an announcement on Sept. 18, 2017, the Ontario government said the new laws against drug-impaired driving will include zero tolerance for:
- Young drivers aged 21 and under
- Novice Drivers – G1, G2, M1 and M2 license holders
- All commercial drivers
Zero tolerance means that drivers should abstain from all drugs or alcohol before driving, and have no detectable presence of drugs in their body. The federal government is in the process of approving a screening device prior to cannabis legalization.
CMHA Ontario recognizes the impact of impaired driving on Ontarians and supports the provincial government for its zero-tolerance approach for young people.
However, in CMHA Ontario’s Cannabis Legalization and Regulation Submission to government in July 2017, we recommend zero tolerance for cannabis consumption in any motorized vehicle, including both drivers of the vehicle and passengers, regardless of age.
This latest government announcement adds to Ontario’s cannabis plan, introduced earlier this month, which addressed the ways in which the province will respond to the federal governments plans to legalize cannabis by July 2018.