Canada's drug-impaired driving tests may not be accurate

Updated: May 1

Drug-impaired driving has been illegal in Canada since 1925. A surprising fact is that roadside test for impaired driving while under the influence of marijuana have not been enforced effectively in the past to reduce the number of accident fatalities. Now with Cannabis becoming legal the provincial governments needs to enforce impairment laws to cash in on fines imposed for driving under the influence with test that are inaccurate.

There is no accurate test in the world today that can tell with out a doubt if a person has consumed marijuana with in a 2 hour period before driving. THC concentration in blood plasma peaks three to 10 minutes after inhalation, or one to two hours after oral ingestion. The amount of THC found in your blood in the days and weeks afterward is residual by comparison, and certainly doesn't indicate that you're stoned the whole time: The high from inhalation, by comparison, lasts just two hours, and an edible high can typically last about four to six hours. In other words, trace amounts of THC don't reveal a whole lot about how much weed you've consumed, or when — only that you did so in the not-too-distant past.

But while THC may show up in someone's bloodstream, there's no scientific way to judge levels of impairment on this measurement. Also, a potent edible won't necessarily do much to alter the THC content of a user's blood. Inhalation, while it produces a shorter high, delivers "a hundredfold difference" in the amount of THC that makes it into the blood. All this makes blood-based legal limits for drivers problematic.

This will widen the window greatly for impairment charges, some of whom will not be impaired because of false inaccurate testing. But try to beat the impairment charges in court if you are innocent, good luck is all I can say, the test says you are guilty and you have to prove you are not. Cash fines payable to the provinces will increase greatly. your drivers license suspended, fines, criminal charges or even jail time will effect your life even if you are innocent because of inaccurate testing.

Concerns raised about first device set to be approved for roadside drug detection

OTTAWA – The first device set to be approved by the federal government for roadside saliva tests to determine marijuana impairment isn’t suited for cold weather, and has been found to give “fairly large proportions of false-positive or false-negative results.”

Police are trained to detect if you are driving under the influence of a drug and enforce drug-impaired driving laws using the Standard Field Sobriety Testing (SFST) and Drug Recognition Expert (DRE). There are over 13,000 trained SFST officers across Canada (April 2018) and 833 certified DREs (October 2018). This number will continue to increase as the federal, provincial and territorial governments invest in additional training at the expense of the tax payer.

Saliva testing

According to a 2014 report on cannabinoids in oral fluid, weed is detectable in saliva for the following amounts of time after last use: .Occasional users: 1 to 3 days, Chronic users: 1 to 29 days Marijuana can enter the saliva through smoking and exposure to smoke. However, its metabolites are only present in saliva when weed has been smoked or ingested.

Canadian climate too cold? There are also questions about the suitability of the Dräger Drug Test 5000 for the Canadian climate, with the device’s operating temperature ranging between four and 40 degrees Celsius. “A lot of Canada most of the year is below those temperatures, and so you’re going to see tests either taken in unreliable circumstances, or a device that’s completely unworkable for the police a good majority of the year,” The tests have also been found to be time consuming, requiring the police officer to orally swab the driver for up to four minutes, and it can take as long as ten minutes to test the sample. The test also requires there not be any food or drink in the subject’s mouth for 10 minutes prior to taking the test. Each test is estimated to take up to half an hour to complete on the roadside, which is 10 times as long as a Breathalyzer test for alcohol detection. ​ The enforcement of accurate drug impaired testing should take place more effectively to reduce fatalities, before the governments of Canada legalize this new tax cash grab. This only shows Canadians that our elected Liberal government officials are only concerned about generating revenue and not concerned about our safety. A new cash grab is all it is. ​ Drug tests are supposed to look only for the psychoactive compound in marijuana, THC. The THC metabolite remains in the body for up to forty-five days depending on amounts used. Cannabidiol (CBD) have become popular in the last few years. Remember, hemp does still contain a minute amount of THC. It’s possible that the plant used in a particular brand had a bit more THC than intended. Some growers might not care about compliance in this respect – a serious legal gamble. ​ As government debt climbs to new high levels new government tax cash grabs come into effect. With the legalization of marijuana, the federal tax cash grab will add an excise tax of $1 per gram or 10 per cent of the final retail price, whichever is higher, with the revenues to be divided equally between Ottawa and the provinces. In addition to the federal tax there is provincial sales tax, and what most of us forget is the money generated by fines for impairment charges of driving under the influence of marijuana that is inaccurately tested. ​

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