The objectives of the Act are to prevent young persons from accessing cannabis, to protect public health and public safety by establishing strict product safety and product quality requirements, and to deter criminal activity by imposing serious criminal penalties for those operating outside the legal framework. The Act is also intended to reduce the burden on the criminal justice system in relation to cannabis. With regards to OHS policies, each province is mandated to introduce policies and regulations regarding cannabis and impairment in the workplace.
Section of this bill is Part 1 outlines the prohibitions, obligations and offences as it relates to possession, production and distribution of cannabis.
The federal Government published a proposal to establish three new criminal offences in order to strengthen the criminal law approach to drug-impaired driving in advance of the legalization of cannabis. These new offences would prohibit individuals from having certain levels of impairing drugs in their blood within two hours of driving.
These new offences would prohibit individuals from having certain levels of impairing drugs in their blood within two hours of driving. If passed, three new criminal driving offences related to being at, or over, a prescribed blood drug concentration (BDC) level within two hours of driving will be enacted as the following:
The penalties for the proposed hybrid offences would mirror the penalties for the current hybrid offences for alcohol-impaired driving. They would be punishable by mandatory penalties of $1,000 for a first offence with escalating penalties for repeat offenders (e.g. 30 days imprisonment on a second offence and 120 days on a third or subsequent offence). The penalty for the separate summary conviction offence for a low BDC would be punishable by a maximum fine of $1,000. The BDC levels set out in the draft regulatory text in Annex A are intended to make it easier to prosecute drug-impaired drivers and to send a clear message to the public about the dangers of using impairing drugs while driving.
If Bill C-46 receives royal assent, the Government would seek Governor-in- Council approval for regulations establishing the new legal BDC offence levels, thereby allowing the offence provisions to be effectively enforced. To further facilitate enforcement, Bill C-46 would also permit a peace officer to demand a blood sample from a driver if they had reasonable grounds to believe that a driver was committing a drug-impaired driving offence.
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