Cannabis And Driving: Alternatives To Driving Under The Influence

There are many questions on the minds of Canadians regarding the use of recreational cannabis and driving. How long do you have to wait after consumption to drive? How does cannabis impair your driving ability? Is cannabis treated the same way as alcohol?

These Are Difficult Questions To Answer

According to Mothers Against Drunk Drivers Canada (MADD) statistical data, the amount of car collisions resulting in a death involving drugs is almost double those with just alcohol. According to their site, cannabis was present in almost half of the drug-impaired collisions.

However, even with these statistics, there is no clear black and white answer to this question. This is because the effects of cannabis affect each person differently. New users, new drivers, higher amounts of consumption and mixing with alcohol can all pose additional risks to a person’s state of mind.

Generally speaking, you should treat cannabis like you would alcohol. According to MADD, if you plan on using cannabis, make alternative driving arrangements as you would for consuming alcohol.

Alternatives To Drug Impaired or Alcohol Impaired Driving

  • Car-sharing apps: Whether you choose Uber, Lyft, or another company, these apps are handy when it comes to getting a ride.
  • Designated drivers: pick someone to stay sober during an event where alcohol or cannabis is present. Usually, this person sits the event out in order to pick everyone up later sober, or avoids cannabis and alcohol while out.
  • Taxis: Hail a taxi on city streets, or call one to pick you up in a residential area.
  • Public transit: Check the route and the timing to ensure a bus or train is still active, and will be passing by the area you are in.

If you have questions about using cannabis and driving, or have been charged with impaired driving and need to understand what your legal rights are, consult a legal professional. Because the laws are still new, it may take a trained legal eye to interpret how to correctly apply existing legislation to cases involving cannabis.


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