A letter to Ottawa from lawyers panning proposed Criminal Code changes around marijuana use and impaired driving highlights the need for evidence-based legislation, not “gut reaction” policy that would criminalize the innocent and beat down the disadvantaged, says a signee.
Ottawa lawyer Michael Spratt, of Abergel Goldstein & Partners LLP, is one of the letter’s signees. He said the proposal’s category of 2-5 ngs of THC is problematic, explaining that someone could fall within this range but not be impaired.
He points to the government’s own description of this lower, summary conviction criminal charge as “not directly linked to impairment, but is, rather, based on a precautionary or a crime prevention approach.”
“The problem with the lower threshold is that the government, even in its own write-up of the regulations, acknowledges that the 2 ngs doesn’t correspond to any impairment,” said Spratt. “It doesn’t mean that you are impaired at that level, and that’s where the problem arises because we are going to be criminalizing individuals through the imposition of a criminal record and the collateral consequences of that.”
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