First Ticket for Stoned Driving Issued One Hour After Legalization

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
first ticket for stoned driving issued one hour after legalization

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.

So … this happened early this morning: A Consume Cannabis in a Motor Vehicle ticket was issued. Just like alcohol, consuming cannabis is legal – and like alcohol, consuming it in your vehicle is **not**.

— Winnipeg Police (@wpgpolice) October 17, 2018

[Image: Winnipeg Police]

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7 of 35 comments
  • Geo Geo on Oct 18, 2018

    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"

    • See 3 previous
    • JimZ JimZ on Oct 21, 2018

      @ttacgreg "The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers."

  • Don1967 Don1967 on Oct 19, 2018

    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.

    • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Oct 20, 2018

      @don1967 - 1st ticket post legalization.

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