Cannabis-impaired driving arrests have gone up 54% since legalization in Quebec

Oct 18 2019, 8:09 am

Since the legalization of recreational cannabis in the country, the Sûreté du Québec has seen a 54% spike in marijuana-related impaired driving cases.

In a statement issued Thursday, which shows its operations over the past year, the SQ said that cannabis was found in the systems of 113 individuals pulled over for impaired driving, compared to 73 cases a year earlier.

Quebec’s provincial law enforcement agency says cannabis is the most commonly detected drug in its “police force territory.”

Over 670 officers trained in drug use evaluation and recognition have been deployed across the province. The SQ had opened 1,409 investigations into the illegal production of cannabis, which led to 1,458 warrants being executed and 1,403 charges being filed against individuals.

Since October 2018, the SQ seized 71,500 cannabis plants, 161 kilograms of cannabis, 15.8 kilograms of cannabis oil and resin, 23,460 units of edible cannabis, and $180,000 in cash.

“Ninety-three per cent of the police’s patrol officers are trained to conduct Criminal Code coordination tests and may request drivers to submit to an assessment or a blood sample.”

The Sûreté du Québec estimates the number of cannabis-related impaired driving charges will increase to 1,300 in 2019.