Liberals promising to deal with marijuana threat to road safety

OTTAWA — Before proceeding with its pot-legalization agenda next spring, the Liberal government is promising to tackle the issue of drug-impaired driving, which bureaucrats say could spike considerably if marijuana becomes legal.

Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould was warned by officials in January of the risks, a classified briefing document obtained by The Canadian Press shows.

“The legalization of marijuana could lead to a significant increase in drug-impaired driving cases,” the memorandum reads.

Bureaucrats say there is limited data as only two jurisdictions in the United States have legalized marijuana: Colorado and Washington.

“For example, in Colorado, in the year following marijuana legalization, there was a 32 per cent increase in marijuana-related traffic deaths,” the memo reads.

Liberal MP Bill Blair, a former Toronto police chief and now parliamentary secretary to Wilson-Raybould, says the issue is already a serious problem in Canada and that legalization could lead to more cases.


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