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Driving after using cannabis is illegal and it more than doubles your chance of motor vehicle collision. It is just as bad as drinking and driving. If you choose to use cannabis, be smart about it and don’t drive high. Be informed of how it impairs your driving ability to protect yourself and other drivers on the road.
Plan to help everyone get home safely:
- Have a designated driver.
- Call a friend or loved one.
- Call a cab or ride-share.
- Use public transit.
- Stay the night.
The THC in cannabis affects your driving ability in the following ways that make it dangerous to drive:
- impairs concentration and short-term memory,
- distorts perception of time and space,
- slows reaction time,
- reduces your co-ordination of body movements,
- lowers the ability to track moving objects (such as other cars or bicyclists),
- lowers the ability to respond to more than one thing at a time (such as watching your speed, lane position, distance between you and another car, pedestrians or bicyclists – all at the same time),
- leads you to weave in and out of lanes, and
- makes it difficult to keep a constant speed.
For more information, visit Don’t Drive High
You should wait at least six hours after using cannabis to drive, and it’s best to not use it at all if you plan on driving or operating machinery.
It can be more difficult with cannabis than with other substances like alcohol to determine when you are impaired and when you are safe to drive. Depending on the form of cannabis used, the THC concentration, and how it affects you, the effects could be more immediate or delayed and can last for a shorter or longer time.
You can also lower your risk of impairment by using lower THC concentration cannabis, not using it every day, and not using it with alcohol.
Driving after using cannabis is illegal. Police can legally request a driver to undergo testing to confirm impairment by drugs and you will be subject to serious penalties. It is taken as seriously as driving impaired by alcohol.
For a full description of Ontario’s new laws for drug-impaired driving, including zero tolerance for young, novice and commercial drivers, and associated penalties, visit the Ontario Ministry of Transportation
Young, Novice and Commercial Drivers - Drivers age 21 or under, novice drivers (drivers who have a G1, G2, M1, M2, M2-L or M2-M licence), and commercial drivers are prohibited from having any cannabis or other drugs in their system and face penalties and potential criminal charges. That means that Ontario has a zero tolerance approach to both alcohol and drugs for these drivers.
All Drivers - If police find that you have cannabis or alcohol in your system above legal limits, or that you are impaired by any substance including illegal drugs, prescription drugs or over-the-counter medications, you will face severe consequences and potential criminal charges.
Medical Cannabis Users - If a police officer is satisfied that you are legally authorized to use cannabis for medical purposes, you will not be subject to Ontario’s zero tolerance drug requirements for young, novice and commercial drivers. However, you can still face penalties and/or criminal charges if a police officer finds that your ability to drive is impaired. Even if you have been authorized to use cannabis or another drug by a health care professional, it is your responsibility to ensure you are not impaired while driving.
For a full description of Ontario’s new laws for drug-impaired driving and penalties, visit the Ontario Ministry of Transportation