Challenge lies ahead
MADD manager says legalization of marijuana is going to create significant issues
Police need more powers to battle impaired drivers, says Susan MacAskill.
The regional manager of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) says the legalization of marijuana next year is going to create a whole new challenge for law enforcement, and governments need to act soon.
“Our federal government needs to have legislative framework in place and our provincial governments need to have legalization under the Motor Vehicle Act that gives police the powers to lay those drug impaired charges because a breathalyzer will not detect drugs,’’ MacAskill said.
She said police need an approved instrument and MADD Canada has made a recommendation.
“Drugs can be (tested) through saliva and it can be done at roadside and it can be just as efficient as a breathalyzer evaluation.’’
However, she said there are only 800 trained drug recognition experts across Canada at the moment.
It’s not cheap to create train more.
MacAskill said it costs $17,000 to train one person to be a drug recognition expert.
Still, MADD Canada is pushing the attorney general and justice minister.
“If every officer can have that (disposable saliva test) in their vehicle it will certainly have a positive impact on road safety.’’