It will be difficult to judge wrongdoers

News 15 January, 2018
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    Several people who attended the conference on impaired driving on to the Lift Cannabis Expo, in Vancouver, is worried about not being able to take the steering wheel if the zero tolerance policy towards pot is applied.

    Annabelle Blais

    Monday, January 15, 2018 01:00

    Monday, January 15, 2018 01:00

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    VANCOUVER | Apply a policy of zero tolerance on the roads for cannabis is an idea “ridiculous,” which will not pass the test of the courts, believes a doctor in emergency medicine.

    “This is ridiculous ! People who consume medical marijuana will never be able to drive ! “repeated several times, Dr. Ian Mitchell, a doctor of emergency medicine and associate professor at the University of British Columbia.

    The latter featured yesterday a conference in the framework of the Lift Cannabis Expo that was held this weekend in Vancouver.

    The doctor does not hesitate to treat patients with medical cannabis. He co-leads also to a clinical study on the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder in partnership with the University of British Columbia and Tilray, a producer of cannabis allowed.


    Several people who attended the conference on impaired driving, worried about not being able to take the steering wheel if the zero tolerance is applied.

    “But after how long after smoking can I drive ? “asked a lady with fibromyalgia who consumes cannabis on a daily basis. The doctor did not have a clear answer to give.

    “It varies from one person to the other,” he explained. This illustrates, according to him, the absurdity of such regulations as the provides, in particular, Quebec.

    The main problem in his eyes is that the tests that are testing and are presented as a miracle solution will detect the presence of THC (cannabis) in the body.

    “This is absolutely not a scientific reference to say whether the person was impaired, he believes. I can’t believe that we’re wasting money in this equipment ! “

    He is of the opinion that all those who will be shut down will also plead this argument in court. “And they will win ! “


    If the government were taking the matter seriously, he said, they’d look on impaired driving in general.

    It reminds us that studies show that the capacity of the drive are particularly affected by the Benadryl, opiates, the consumer sleeping pill 12 hours before driving. The fact of eating or having a pet in the car can also be a source of distraction.

    “I’m not saying that cannabis does not affect the faculties, but I say that it affects them less than people think “, he insisted.

    For the time being, two studies on the increase of accidents in the States of Colorado and Washington where cannabis has been legalized, show increases of 0% to 3% , shows-t-it. “There’s no need to panic either. “

    He also recalled that the legalisation of cannabis not condone any irresponsible behaviour.

    “You wouldn’t drive in the minutes after swallowing a sleeping pill just as you would not drive immediately after smoking or eating a cookie with cannabis. “

    The black market will not be eliminated… for now

    Eliminate the black market will not happen overnight. And the draft law of Quebec is not in the right way to achieve it, believes an expert.

    “I am not in favor of monopolies of the State, as this will be the case in Quebec, and I believe that it will not get rid of the black market “, explained the Newspaper, Alex Shiff, consultant at Navigator, a public relations firm that has developed an expertise in cannabis.

    “In Quebec there will be 15 shops in the departure and it is obvious that it will not respond to the demand “, he warned.

    To eliminate the black market, cannabis should be available, he believes, in order to avoid that people naturally turn to the dealer on the corner.

    The Quebec government has argued that the price of pot sold in Quebec could vary from 7 to 10 $.

    The black market will adjust its price in a first time in order to compete with the government. “But ultimately, I don’t think the black market will be able to constantly lower his prices,” says Shiff.

    Incorporating some of the actors

    To put an end to the black market, this expert believes that we should above all allow some traders as those who have health clinics to integrate the legal market.

    “I’m not talking about the black market of organized crime, but those who are already in the industry of cannabis and have good practices,” he says.

    “What we saw in the United States is that the States that have not allowed the black market to make a transition to the legal market are those who have an illicit market the strongest. The State of Washington is an example “, he says.

    In Quebec, there is a lot less dispensaries than in Ontario or Vancouver, for example. But the Center of compassion is located in Montreal since 1999. According to the draft law of Quebec, the clinic still will not be legal after July 1.

    The police and the drug

    In Quebec, according to a compilation by the Newspaper, only 90 of the 15 000 police officers in quebec are able to detect drivers who have consumed drugs.

    • Their distribution is also uneven across the province.
    • By July, the national police academy will train 36 agents evaluators more.
    • A pilot project of detection of cannabis in saliva is in progress.
    • Zero tolerance on the roads will only apply when this device will be ready and will have demonstrated its effectiveness.
    • If cannabis is detected in the body of a person, the officer may suspend the driver’s license for a period of 90 days.