What are the laws about cannabis and driving?

Cannabis was legalized in Canada on October 17, 2018. Cannabis is also called weed, pot, and marijuana.

There are federal and provincial laws that deal with:

  • how cannabis can be bought and sold
  • where cannabis can be bought, sold, and grown
  • who can buy, sell, and grow cannabis
  • who can have and smoke cannabis

There are also rules about using cannabis and driving. These rules are similar to the rules about drinking alcohol and driving. It is illegal to use cannabis in a vehicle or boat that is being driven, or is likely to be driven. This includes smoking, vaping, and eating cannabis.

The police can ask you to take tests if they think you’ve been using cannabis and driving.

For example, the police can demand that you do a roadside Standardized Field Sobriety Test. They may ask you to stand on one leg or walk in a straight line. This test checks whether your ability to drive has been by drug use.

The government has approved a saliva collection kit and reader to test for cocaine and cannabis. They are not yet available, but soon police officers will be allowed to use devices that test your saliva for cannabis. They will be allowed to demand that you give a saliva sample if they think you’re impaired by cannabis during a lawful road stop.

If you refuse any of the tests, you can be charged with a criminal for with a police demand.

Zero tolerance for young, beginner, and commercial drivers

You will not be allowed to have any cannabis in your body as measured by the saliva collection kit and reader, if you’re operating a motor vehicle and:

  • you are 21 years old or younger
  • you have a G1, G2, M1, or M2 licence
  • the vehicle you’re driving requires an A-F driver’s licence or a Commercial Vehicle Operator’s Registration
  • you’re driving a machine for building roads
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