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Ontario to receive federal funds to combat drug-impaired driving

As many Canadians - both supporters and naysayers - are still wrapping their heads around legalized cannabis, one concern that has remained on everyone's mind has been roadside safety.

The Federal government recently announced that it would provide Ontario with $17 million over the next five years to combat drug-impaired driving.

When the legalization of cannabis was announced in 2017, there were numerous reports and studies about how law enforcement would be able to detect a driver under the influence of marijuana while on the road. Part of this new funding is going towards new sobriety testing skills and the implementation of "drug recognition experts".

A portion of the funding will also be used to purchase sufficient screening devices as well. In the past, the federal government was looking to other countries where cannabis was legal, and evaluating their methods and technologies in an effort to implement what would work best for Canadians. There is already one drug detection device being used, but this funding would allow for a second.

There is currently some controversy over the effectiveness of the roadside screening technology, and how it would hold up in a court of law. If you have been pulled over for impaired driving, and issued a roadside screening test to detect for cannabis, it's important to consult with a criminal defence lawyer. He or she will be able to advise you of your rights, if the tests were administered correctly, and how the results affect your situation.

There have also been new reports on how drivers are doing since cannabis was legalized in 2018. A report from Vancouver, for example, indicates that there has been no additional increase in drug-impaired driving since legalization.

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