Canadian Legal Expert Calls Cannabis Breathalyzers “Flawed Approach” to Legalization

This story was originally published in Straight Cannabis.

Changes to impaired-driving laws in preparation for cannabis legalization are not only proving flawed but are threatening the charter rights of all drivers on the road, even those who have never consumed pot.

Since amendments to Bill C-46 passed in June—adding more cannabis-specific laws to the Impaired Driving Act—Canadian drivers have mainly focused on what tools police will use to detect drug intoxication.

The Justice Department announced that it plans to introduce a roadside saliva test to detect cannabis-impaired driving. With a few swipes of an oral-fluid collection tip over a driver’s cheeks and tongue, police officers will be able to instantly identify traces of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)—the primary psychoactive compound found in cannabis—ingested within the previous six hours.

Last month, Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould announced a 30-day notice of a ministerial order to approve the German-made Dräger DrugTest 5000, a portable substance-detection device that looks like a small Keurig coffee machine for spit. Instead of a coffee, this machine will brew up a nice hot cup of reasonable grounds for an officer to proceed to a blood test or expert drug evaluation.

Drivers could then face a criminal conviction if found with as little

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