In the wake of the federal Liberals’ decision to move forward with the legalization of marijuana, some are already giving their opinions on the legislation.
One of the most controversial aspects of the legislation is a “zero-tolerance” to driving under the influence of marijuana.
Marijuana advocate Dana Larsen says the method of testing that offence, through saliva samples, is flawed.
And he’s not the only one – in an interview with Simi Sara criminal lawyer Paul Doroshenko says the results of saliva tests can’t be used as evidence and will only tell officers that the driver needs to be detained and further tested.
“They’re too novel for us to say. It’s just screening for the presence. So the presence is going to get a lot of people. Especially if people start widely using cannabis because we know THC remains in our system for a long time afterward.”
LISTEN to the full interview below:
Doroshenko says it can lead to issues of culpability.
“It’s so infrequent that you see somebody who is suspected of it. When they do have the suspicion, they don’t even have the evidence to take it further, which tells me – if they don’t have the evidence, how are you going to say that the person is impaired?”
A tighter leash
On the other hand, a Vancouver City Councillor says he’s glad council can use its power to control where cannabis plants are grown.
Kerry Jang says council can use zoning bylaws to restrict where residents can grow their four pot plants.
“People would be expected to register their pot plants with either the federal, provincial or municipal governments. And so there we would know where they are – the legal ones are and we can go and inspect to see if people are breaking the law.”
Jang says that letting the power rest in municipalities’ hands will help crack down on illegal trade.
“Cities have the right to say you can have four pot plants in this zone, but not that zone. And that people would be expected to register their plants so there could be spot inspections or surprise inspections as need be.”
He adds council expects funds from the federal government to help police the laws surrounding marijuana plants in homes.
With files from Tristan Martin-Woodhouse