Below is #2 of a 4 part series of stories written by the Fort St. John RCMP on Cannabis. If you missed part 1, click here (opens in new window)
Cannabis is legal so what’s the big deal?
When it comes to transporting cannabis and the do’s and don’ts of having it in your car or truck or even out on the boat, legalization is not a blank cheque that lets you do whatever you want. Again, there are new laws in place to protect the public and the users, even if they don’t like the idea. And once again, law enforcement agencies have additional powers to enforce those laws.
It’s a beautiful summer day and you’re out on Charlie Lake with friends on the boat and you light up a joint. You’d think that this is a pretty safe place to use recreational cannabis. Well, the new Provincial Cannabis Control and Licencing Act has a charge for Consuming Cannabis while operating a vehicle or a boat with a $575 ticket.
Quick thinking says, well I shouldn’t operate the boat when I’m using cannabis, I’ll just hand it over to one of my passengers… think again, they still get a ticket for consuming cannabis in a vehicle or boat operated by another person for $230. If everyone is using cannabis, they all get tickets and the cannabis gets confiscated.
The same charges exist for persons in a vehicle, drivers and passengers cannot consume while in a vehicle. So how can cannabis be transported?
Cannabis can be transported in a vehicle only when the following conditions are met:
• The cannabis was produced by a federal producer,
• The cannabis is still in the original packaging,
• The packaging has not been opened or
• IF the packaging has been opened, it cannot be accessible by the driver or any passengers.
When we talk about accessibility, this means that you cannot just drop it in the back seat or put it in the glove box, if the package is opened. To restrict accessibility, the opened package would have to be in placed in a locked trunk. If any of those conditions are broken, there can be $230 tickets issued in violation of those conditions.
When it comes to transporting plants, which you are allowed to have by the way, no more than 4 cannabis plants, that are not budding or flowering, can be transported at any one time. This includes anything that has a root system.
When it comes to minor’s (youth under 19) driving a vehicle, there must be another adult present abiding by the conditions or the youth can be issued a $230 ticket for a Minor operating a vehicle with cannabis in it contrary to Act.
Impaired Driving Laws have also been updated with the new legalization under the Federal Cannabis Act. Did you know there is a new charge for being impaired by drugs?
Maybe you did; but did you also know there is a new charge for being impaired by alcohol and drugs at the same time!
These are the charges that can go to court and create a Criminal Record for anyone found guilty of being impaired while driving. While the driver is waiting for court, their driver’s licence will be suspended and their vehicle will be impounded.
The Fort St John RCMP want to warn citizens and help them protect themselves when it comes to using drugs and driving. Canada’s Lower-Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines recommend waiting at least six hours before a driver gets behind the wheel. It is recommended, just like alcohol campaigns that have been run in the past, to have a designated driver, call a taxi or just consume cannabis at your home or that of a friends where you can remain till sober once again.
Written and released by Fort St. John RCMP. No edits.
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