The question of what to do with drunk drivers has evolved over the past few decades. A generation ago, heading home a little tipsy was seen as normal, but the steady toll of carnage on the roads changed minds.
With legal marijuana on the horizon, sometime in the next few years, it’s good to hear that the federal government is taking the prospect of stoned drivers seriously.
The RCMP is currently testing three different roadside detection devices for marijuana use. MP Bill Blair, a former Toronto police chief leading the planning process for legalization, mentioned a simple saliva test as one of the most promising options.
Legalizing marijuana is a good idea on the whole. Right now, most marijuana cultivation and sale is in the hands of criminals, many of them violent.
The violence spreads beyond just turf wars between rival gangs. Here in Langley, we’ve seen numerous “grow rips” in which either illicit or medical marijuana grow ops are violently invaded. Stolen pot is sold on the black market.
It might be worth the criminal consequences of marijuana was highly addictive and killing its users, but it’s not. Good for you? No. But neither are alcohol, cigarettes, or trans fats, and we believe regulation is better than prohibition there.
It is good to see that the government is already looking at multiple sides of the legalization process, which won’t be simple or too quick.
From technological fixes like road-side testing, to dealing with permits, taxation, sales, and the whole regulatory apparatus around pot, it seems that so far, the federal government is taking things seriously.
It’s legislation worth passing, but it’s not worth doing if it’s done badly.