When Prime Minister Trudeau was elected in 2015, one of his platforms was the legalization of marijuana. Although several US states have either legalized the drug or are on their way to legalization, there are strong opponents of this potential new law in Canada. With the legislation being introduced in 2017, it’s on a lot of minds.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is one of those groups that are readying themselves for the fight against a new wave of drug-impaired driving. Before the country takes the step and actually goes through with the legalization of marijuana, MADD’s working on a message to all Canadians who think it’s OK to smoke weed and get behind the wheel.
As a first step, MADD would like to see the government put tools into place long before the drug is actually legalized. According to an interview in the Toronto Sun, president of MADD Andrew Murie would like the Criminal Code changed to allow police to use oral fluid screening to screen drivers. Oral fluid screening is used in other countries with good results, and Murie feels if its not set up in Canada before the drug is legal, there will be a huge influx of drugged drivers on the roads.
MADD’s fight against drug-impaired driving will take a similar path to the road they’ve taken to fight drunk driving, but Murie says the messages will have to be different and more precise. Scientific research has shown that if you drink a glass of alcohol, it takes approximately two hours for it to process through your body. Most people know they aren’t safe to drive until it’s been processed completely, but when it comes to drugs, you don’t have that same data with the same concrete answers. Every drug is different, metabolizes at different rates, and could affect your driving in different ways.
One of the main purposes of MADD is to educate the public on the dangers of drunk driving, and the organization will now work to do the same for drugs. With the legalization of marijuana moving forward sooner than later, they have their work cut out for them.