Canada's marijuana legalization was met with new and stricter impaired driving laws throughout the country under Bill C-46 and Canadians are not pleased.
While everyone wants safer roads and people can agree that it is important to penalize impaired driving, people are outraged at the new laws that they say puts way too much power in the hands of police officers.
Under the new laws, police can demand a breathalyzer test from any driver at any time without having to suspect impairment and perform roadside saliva tests to determine THC levels in the body from smoking weed. Refusing to a test will also have the same penalty of driving impaired.
While these new changes have been met with their own amount of backlash for various reasons, the biggest change that Canadians are mad about is that the new laws give police officers the power to perform roadside blood tests to test for drugs.
Currently, a blood draw has to be administered by a qualified technician. This at the moment only includes nurses and other healthcare professionals; but with the changes to Bill C-46, the scope of who can give blood tests will expand to include police officers. This is to allow them to test people's blood right there on the side of the road.
Canadians are livid about this for a number of reasons and are sharing their thoughts online. Obviously, no one wants an unqualified police officer attempting to stick them with a needle. Another big opposition is that roadsides and people's cars are far from a sanitary environment for this to take place.
Another massive risk is actually to the officers themselves administering the tests. With blood being exposed, the officers will now be put in a pretty vulnerable situation from anyone who carries blood-born illnesses or angry people sticking officers with contaminated needles.
Under the new laws, Canadians will also face harsher penalties for driving while impaired, which include a fine of $250 and a 3-5 day suspension for your first offence. These new changes come into effect July 1, 2018.