One cannabis company in Canada is looking to help their future customers deal with new legislation that makes it illegal for anyone who has ever smoked weed in their life to operate a motor vehicle, boat, bicycle, skateboard or Segway.
Since cannabis can stay in a person’s system for much longer than far more popular—and actually impairing—drugs like alcohol or cocaine, and because the police still have no ability to accurately separate detection from impairment, StratCann, a cannabis producer based in Kelowna, says they will be giving out free Uber credits with every cannabis purchase to help ensure their customers don’t all end up in jail.
“We are concerned that the passage of Bill C-46 could mean all our customers end up in jail,” says Duke Broman, CEO of StratCann Inc. “This would be catastrophic to our bottom line. By providing rideshare credits or bus passes with every cannabis purchase, we’re doing our part as a responsible corporation by ensuring people can continue to buy and enjoy our products without being the target of some black arts Drug Recognition Expert.”
The legislation in Question, Bill C-46, quietly received Royal Assent last week on the same day as Bill C-45, the Cannabis Act.
In the wake of this new law, cannabis users are said to all be selling their cars and getting bus passes so they won’t go to jail for having smoked a joint three weeks prior to driving a car.
While the passage of the Cannabis Act received most of the attention, many cannabis consumers and lawyers have raised warning flags about how this new driving legislation will impact those who choose to use legal cannabis once C-45 comes into force on October 17, 2018.
Bill C-46, formally called An Act to amend the Criminal Code (offences relating to conveyances) and to make consequential amendments to other Acts was promoted as being the companion act to cannabis legalization, providing expanded powers to police to deal with what they say will be an onslaught of new stoned drivers wreaking havoc on Canadian roads.
In order to assuage the fears express by law enforcement in Canada, Bill C-46 essentially makes it illegal to drive a vehicle, row a boat, ride a skateboard, or even wander near a road with traffic if the person has ever used cannabis in their life, or even simply seen a cannabis plant.
“Right now when police stop a vehicle,” says one law enforcement officer, “we are required to use some stupid thing called ‘reasonable suspicion’ before we can administer a blood or saliva test on someone we deem as being impaired due to how they look, how they smell, or what kinds of bumper stickers they have on their car.
“What C-46 does,” continues the officer, “is allow us to not have to use any of that pesky ‘reasonable’ suspicion and just randomly demand breath, or in the case of cannabis, saliva tests to anyone we deem as possibly ever having used the devil’s weed, based on our in depth training that looks at things like the driver’s haircut, the cut of their jib, or just the mood we’re in that day.
“Driving is a privilege, not a right, and there are certain things that go along with having that privilege like submitting to random drug screenings based on the moods and whims of any random cop,” added the officer.
Police in Canada will likely be using new saliva testing devices that have still yet to be approved for use in Canada because they are considered unpredictable and inaccurate, as well as the expertise of so-called Drug Recognition Experts (DRE’s) who used a mixture of black magic and mood rings to determine if someone has smoked the reefer.
“It’s a very complex range of tools we have as DRE’s to tell if someone is under the influence of the marihuanas,” said another officer who asked to not be identified by name. “We consult a ouija board, an astrology chart, mood rings, and then just kind of go with our gut. It’s a very scientific process”
Once an officer uses black magic to determine if someone is high on the reefer, the suspect can then be detained and taken to a police station where they will be forced to submit to a blood test that can detect levels of cannabis in someone’s system from consumption that occurred days or even weeks prior to them operating a motor vehicle.
Meanwhile, lawyers are salivating at the chance to challenge the new law the first time someone who smoked a joint 30 years ago gets pulled over for impaired driving.
“Cha-ching”, said Dirk Coleslaw, a constitutional attorney based in New Brunswick. “It’s been a few weeks since I’ve been able to use the term ‘overbroad’ so I’m excited by the chance to whip that out in court again soon. This legislation is a ridiculous mix of fear mongering and mystical dark arts that will mean anyone who has ever used, seen, or even heard of cannabis will be considered impaired by Canadian police. We have to put an end to this.”
Although Canada has one of the highest rates of cannabis consumption in the developed world, rates of cannabis-impaired driving remain a small fraction of impaired driving incidents in Canada, accounting for about 1-2% of all impaired driving in Canada, compared to 71% of incidents related to alcohol impairment, according to Stats Canada data from 2015.
Nonetheless, police are being given millions of dollars to deal with what they expect to be a flood of stoned drivers dangerously obeying the speed limit and coming to complete stops at stop signs as distracted texters and amped up coffee-fiends speed past them unaware of their surroundings.
* Don’t read satire and drive.