FORT ST. JOHN, B.C.- With Cannabis now being legal for persons 19 years and older there are special requirements for carrying Cannabis in motorized vehicles.
There have been new laws put in place to protect the public and users of cannabis, and law enforcement agencies have additional powers to enforce those laws. The new Provincial Cannabis Control and Licencing Act have a $575 charge for consuming Cannabis while operating a vehicle or a boat and $230 ticket for consuming Cannabis in a vehicle or boat operated by another person.
No persons while in a vehicle can consume Cannabis. If everyone is using Cannabis, all persons in the motorized vehicle receive tickets and the cannabis is confiscated.
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You can only transport Cannabis 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.
You are allowed to transport no more than 4 cannabis plants, that are not budding or flowering, this includes anything that has a root system.
Minor’s (youth under 19) driving a vehicle must have an 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 the Act.
Impaired Driving Laws have also been updated with the new legalization under the Federal Cannabis Act. There is a new charge for being impaired by drugs and alcohol at the same time. These charges can go to court and create a Criminal Record for anyone found guilty of being impaired while driving. As the driver is waiting for court, their driver’s licence will be suspended and their vehicle will be impounded.
Canada’s Lower-Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines recommends waiting at least six hours before a driver gets behind the wheel. It is recommended to have a designated driver, call a taxi or just consume cannabis where you are able to stay until you are sober once again.
The Fort St John RCMP wants to inform citizens and help them to protect themselves when it comes to using drugs and driving.