Edmonton police reported an increase in drug-impaired drivers—as police elsewhere in the country continue to report impaired driving isn’t going up in their areas.

  • Of the 53 drug-impaired drivers they caught following cannabis legalization, 19 (36%) were believed to be impaired by cannabis. Over the same time period a year earlier, there were only three arrests for drug-impaired driving.
    The Star
  • The numbers were in a report by the Edmonton Police Commission which Police Chief Dale McFee says will not be used as an argument for additional funding, though it will likely present an argument for keeping its new funding (as of May 2018).
  • The report argues it takes far more longer to process suspected drug-impaired drivers and costs more money.
  • The report argues without evidence that “As the supply [of legal REC] increases, these numbers will rise.”
  • Edmonton Councillor Scott McKeen expressed skepticism at the numbers and the argument that legalization created an increase in impaired driving, saying he suspected they have increased only because police have gone looking for cannabis-impaired drivers, adding the number of cannabis users hasn’t changed dramatically since legalization.
  • Police chief McFee said the increase was the product of both increased use following legalization and increased police attention.

Quick Hits

  1. Between 2011 and 2017, Canadian cannabis use by those aged 15 and up increased 62%, according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime’s 2019 World Drug Report.
    Business In Vancouver
  2. Cannabis activist Dana Larsen is pushing for the legalization of psychedelic mushrooms, and has opened an online mushroom dispensary selling psychedelic mushrooms only in micro-doses. Vancouver police said they’re aware of the business, but “Magic mushrooms and other psychedelic drugs are not typically an enforcement priority for the VPD, given the ongoing opioid epidemic, unless there are aggravating factors such as trafficking to children, or near schools and playgrounds.”
    Vice, CTV News
  3. Vancouver updated its zoning laws to allow for REC sales in the impoverished Downtown East Side.
    The Straight
  4. Leafly announced it would bring its Pickup service to Alberta and Saskatchewan, allowing consumers to reserve products online and pick them up the same day from local retailers.
    Globe and Mail