Road Safety and the Lifeworld: Unintended Consequences of Canada’s New Drug-Impaired Driving Legislation

Author(s): Valentine
Student Paper Competition: 3rd Place

Slidedeck Presentation:



This article examines the implications that Canada’s new drug-impaired driving legislation
may have on cannabis users. It illustrates that the implementation of criminal sanctions to enforce
new measures, specifically a ‘per se’ limit for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), may have unintended
consequences. The article highlights that, based on the current scientific evidence, it is unclear if
the implemented per se limit will reflect impairment in all drivers. Possible consequences of this
law are then explored. I note that the new legislation potentially prevents individuals who legally
consume cannabis from driving without the risk of criminalization. The implication is that in
attempting to legalize cannabis consumption, the Canadian Government has created a framework
that may further criminalize cannabis users. This could erect significant social and legal barriers
under the guise of criminal justice.