By on October 18, 2018

Marijuana seems to be a reoccurring theme this month. Canada, which legalized recreational use of the drug on Wednesday, has already had an opportunity to remind its citizenry that there are still some ground rules that must be followed. Literally one hour after weed received the green light, Winnipeg police issued a citation for consumption of cannabis inside a motor vehicle.

Last week, we described the difficulties Canuck police will face when attempting to prove someone is driving under the influence of the herb. However, the country’s updated rules mean cops don’t actually need to prove you were driving at all. Simply having it in the cabin is enough to get you slapped with a minor infraction. 

According to CBC News, Winnipeg Police Service traffic division Inspector Gord Spado says one of his officers conducted a traffic stop around 1:00 a.m. A short time later, the country had its first ticket of a new era.

“An hour into legality, and something illegal,” Spado said Wednesday.

While the department acknowledges that the marijuana was likely purchased illegally, based on how early in the morning it was, the officer only issued a single fine.

“It doesn’t look like anything was pursued as far as the illicit component of it goes,” Gordy explained. “I think that’s just the education piece of our members, knowing where to go with that. It’s still new to us, too, right, so we’re still learning.”

The inspector also acknowledged the challenges the department would have to confront if it wants to continue issuing these kinds of citations. Not all marijuana comes in baggies. Sometimes it will show up in candy or cookie form.

“If somebody has an edible in a car and we can prove it, that’s also an offense,” Spado noted. “Sometimes we can [prove it], sometimes we can’t. And when edibles are legally produced commercially, then it might be a little bit easier, because there’ll be packaging and things like that that might be visible.”

No information was provided as to why the traffic stop occurred. However, the driver was given a ticket and fined $672. That’s a relatively common fee for Manitoba’s new marijuana-related crimes. According to the CBC report, any person(s) caught consuming cannabis in a vehicle on a highway, in a provincial park, or in a public place will be subject to the same punishment. Drivers carrying dope inside a vehicle, and not in the trunk, are eligible for a $237 penalty.

Considering these are Canadian dollars, that doesn’t sound so bad. But I’ve been informed by several reputable Canucks that these prices should be sufficiently annoying to deter most people from this kind of behavior. All we care about is that you keep yourself clean while operating a motor vehicle. You can take the rest up with the police; they’ll definitely be interested.

[Image: Winnipeg Police]

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35 Comments on “First Ticket for Stoned Driving Issued One Hour After Legalization...”


  • avatar
    JimC2

    I was sitting in the coffee shop, just minding my own affair, when all of a sudden, this policeman caught me unaware. Said, is your name Pedro? I says, yeah, I guess so…

  • avatar

    “An extensive 2013 review of 66 studies regarding crash risk and drug use found that cannabis was associated with minor, but not statistically significant increased odds of injury or fatal accident. The estimated fatal crash odds for cannabis (1.26) were lower than: opiates (1.68), antianxiety medications (2.30), zopiclone (sleep medicine) (2.60), cocaine (2.96), and amphetamines (5.17). The estimated injury odds for cannabis (1.10) were lower than: antihistamines (1.12), penicillin (1.12), antianxiety meds (1.17), antidepressants (1.35), antiasthmatics (1.31), zopiclone (sleep medicine) (1.42), cocaine (1.66), and opiates (1.91). The study concluded: “By and large, the increase in the risk of accident involvement associated with the use of drugs must be regarded as modest…Compared to the huge increase in accident risk associated with alcohol, as well as the high accident rate among young drivers, the increases in risk associated with the use of drugs are surprisingly small.”
    -Elvik, R (Nov 2013), “Risk of road accident associated with the use of drugs: a systematic review and meta-analysis of evidence from epidemiological studies.”

    Really, a pretty silly thing to be pulling people over for in the first place. You are more at risk if you’re on penicillin. Yup, penicillin.

    “the University of Colorado, Montana State University, and the University of Oregon found that on average, states that have legalized medical cannabis had a decrease in traffic-related fatalities by 8–11%

    -Morrison, James (2013-01-01). “Separating fact vs. fear on medical marijuana””

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      Nice thing about statistics is that they can say whatever you want them to say.
      https://www.iihs.org/iihs/news/desktopnews/crashes-rise-in-first-states-to-begin-legalized-retail-sales-of-recreational-marijuana

    • 0 avatar
      ttacgreg

      The projection of the evils of alcohol and tobacco onto cannabis carries on. There was a time when cannabis opponents claimed that it was addictive. No, that would be tobacco, that it causes people to get violent and out of control. No, alcohol does that.
      In so many people’s minds there is an unconscious equivalence between alcohol & cannabis. If driving drunks is dangerous, then driving under the influence of cannabis must be the same. I beg to differ. I used to (decades ago) and still do witness people to this day who, while skiing will duck into the woods, get quite baked, and go right back out and ski, and that includes skiing bumps. The judgment, mental calculations and near instantaneous motor coordination to ski bumps makes driving a vehicle child’s play by comparison. It takes less than a second of inappropriate response to the terrain in bumps to throw a skier out of control and or land on their ass.
      Driving drunk vs driving stoned are very different. I tried skiing drunk once, one lift ride was all it took for me to know how futile, useless, and no fun that idea was.

      • 0 avatar
        Tele Vision

        In 41 years of skiing downhill and telemark, mostly around Banff, I’ve had exactly half a beer on a ski hill – and it was in a Shandy that I didn’t finish. Running either used DH boards ( for GS leg-burner runs ) or the best slalom skis that Volkl had that particular year ( and occasionally for the subsequent year, all blacked-out ), I had to have all my faculties about me, as they say. Apres ski is another thing, obviously. I don’t smoke weed at all, either.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        The penalties around cannabis are obviously political but they do serve the purpose (to a degree) of appeasing the “cannabis as a road to hell” prohibitionists and allow legalization for the liberal abolitionists. There isn’t a clear relationship like alcohol when it comes to measuring intoxication so it was expedient to pick an extremely low blood level as a set point as opposed to waiting years for science to assess a correlation. It is close to being a zero tolerance policy.

        It is illegal to have open alcohol and/or drink alcohol in a vehicle so it shouldn’t be too much of a stretch to apply that same ruling to cannabis.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          “The penalties around cannabis are obviously political but they do serve the purpose (to a degree) of appeasing the “cannabis as a road to hell” prohibitionists”

          isn’t it amazing how the same people who hate liberals because “liberals only want to control you” are the same people who want to force everyone to live under their moral/religious system?

          “It’s ok if *I* try to control *you,* but if I think *you* are trying to control *me* then you’re evil.”

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        ISTR that Car and Driver did an informal test (at some risk) comparing the impairment of cannabis vs. alcohol. What their exercise seemed to indicate is that unlike alcohol, cannabis doesn’t slow your reflexes or motor skills; on the other hand, what it did was make them far more *distractable*.

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    So maybe there will be a resurgence of sales of Sedans in Canada because of this law. I mean that seriously as anyone who owns a pickup, S/CUV, or Hatchback will not be able to legally get their purchase home.

    Shortly after it was legalized in my state there were warnings on local TV news to the effect that having it in the passenger compartment, even if the package was unopened could get you in trouble with the law. I think it is very crazy to make it illegal to carry an un-opened package in the passenger compartment when it is fully legal to carry unopened alcohol.

    Of course this particular ticket appears to be for consuming it in the vehicle, so maybe the cop saw him smoking as he drove by and I fully understand and agree with that being a crime. It is not like you couldn’t see people doing this from time to time already, but now the cops have an actual code to cite for while in the past the code they could cite for was the possession which was frequently a lucrative ticket, more so that a driving under the influence.

  • avatar
    VW4motion

    Good to see Canada treating people like humans. Unlike the United States choosing big pharma profits over human pain and suffering.

    • 0 avatar
      pdog_phatpat

      Yes their wait times for health care really prove that statement.

      • 0 avatar
        JD-Shifty

        Sure gomer. And Mitch and Donnie are looking out for you by taking away universally accessible healthcare and gutting entitlements like social security. to make america great again.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Take a look at unfunded liabilities and the Federal budget. Horse already left the barn.

          • 0 avatar
            philipwitak

            once dems regain control of congress, priority number one should be to claw-back every last penny of the billions that trump’s recent tax cut made possible for the wealthiest among us. only after that is accomplished, should we even begin to reconsider any sort of changes to federal budget allocations.

            ‘NO MONEY, INDEED!’

            trump and his congressional enablers are running a reckless and completely deplorable regime. the republican party, as currently constituted, functions as little more than a criminal enterprise. rico laws should be leveraged against them because they are genuine – and perhaps the most-threatening – enemies of our country, its people and ‘the american way.’

          • 0 avatar
            ttacgreg

            Hey 28, in light of your comment, what do you think about that tax cut last winter?

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            In short, we’re screwed.

      • 0 avatar
        Tele Vision

        Our wait times are problematic due to people going to the Emergency Room because they have a cold. My sister is a radiologist and my sister-in-law is a paranoid who thinks a bruise should be an Emergency Room visit. Neither will back down but my sister is right when she says that people like our sister-in-law are clogging the system. That said, MRIs and spinal surgery are ‘free’, which is why I’m ambulatory again – and even skiing. I was kicked up to the head of the line, way ahead of the paranoids, obviously. Any Americans go to the hospital for a cold? Didn’t think so.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        “Yes their wait times for health care really prove that statement.”

        One needs to look at the pros and cons of the USA and Canadian systems before making partisan statements.

        The USA system typically excels at high “throughput” procedures like hip or knee replacements. If one is low risk, you can get the surgery done and be discharged home in 3 days. Same can be said for diagnostics like MRI’s or CT scans. High volume equals high profits.
        “Non-profit” systems tend to excel at long term chronic conditions like renal failure. Why? They tend to be costly to treat and a typical patient has multiple commodities. Costs are high with low profit margins.

    • 0 avatar
      ttacgreg

      So true. People are dying all over the USA on opioids (a Vancouver friend tells me it is happening there too), no worries. Look!! The horrors of legal weed!!! :0

  • avatar
    geo

    This is a post that’s making the rounds on social media:

    “All these Canadian slaves that are bleating, mewling and cheering about how cannabis is now legalized.

    You failed to understand the fact, this is actually not a good thing.

    This means more Govt control, more police, and taxation you idiots.

    Take a look at how now if they suspect you are high behind the wheel they now can collect your DNA through a saliva sample.

    Thanks a lot for that you statist retards. You just paved the way for Govt to be able to have even more control and power and give people like me, less freedom and rights.

    They. Can. Now. Get. My. DNA.
    You inept, socialist morons.

    You should have fought for DECRIMINALIZATION not LEGALIZATION, but you’re too stupid to understand the bleeding obvious difference”

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Assuming this is true, excellent points. Feature not a bug and all.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @Geo

      “You should have fought for DECRIMINALIZATION not LEGALIZATION, but you’re too stupid to understand the bleeding obvious difference”

      Decriminalization usually means something no longer falls under the criminal code. That was proposed in Canada at least a decade ago and conservatives shot it down.
      Just because something is no longer a criminal code violation does not mean that it is no longer subject to laws and enforcement.

      One should have a basic understanding of law before one calls anyone an inept moron.

    • 0 avatar
      ttacgreg

      Best way to lose control over a “controlled substance” is to outlaw it.

  • avatar
    don1967

    The first ticket for stoned driving was not issued on October 17. At least I hope not, given how many years I’ve been smelling the wacky tabacky every time I ride my motorcycle in traffic.

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