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“The decline since 2019 may indicate education and enforcement initiatives are having an effect on driver behaviour, but clearly some continue to make choices that create risk for all road users,” TIRF research scientist Heather Woods-Fry says in a statement.
And a study published earlier this year in Drug and Alcohol Dependence found that “cannabis users had poorer driving simulator performance relative to controls.”
Health Canada’s advice when it comes to consuming cannabis and driving? Just don’t do it. Noting that individual impairment can depend on the method of consumption, the amount consumed and THC levels (including cannabis prescribed for medical use), “there is no guidance to drivers about how much cannabis can be consumed before it is unsafe to drive or how long a driver should wait to drive after consuming cannabis,” the federal department reports.
Abstaining is also recommended as part of a new Canadian Automobile Association educational campaign focusing on edibles, which are known to take longer to kick in and whose related highs can be intense.
As is already the case, accurate product labeling will be paramount. Depending on the source of cannabis, there have been plenty of examples of hemp, which could be used to make CBD products, having too high a THC level.
Earlier this year in Arizona, for example, the state’s Department of Agriculture reported that about 41 per cent of the plants it analyzed failed to keep THC levels below the legal requirement of 0.3 per cent. In both the U.S. and Canada, if the plant has more than that level of THC, it is considered cannabis.
Additionally, there can be problems with how much THC is said to be included in products. Health Canada reported last June that it had been flagging legal cannabis products containing incorrect amounts of THC content, according to the Calgary Herald.These amounts have been as much as five times higher than advertised.