Sep 18, 2017

By Christine Ross

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Ontario plans to introduce new penalties for drug-impaired drivers ahead of legalized marijuana next July. Monday, Premier Kathleen Wynne announced says there will be zero tolerance for those 21 and under, novice drivers and all commercial drivers in Ontario who have a detectable presence of drugs or alcohol in their system. The province will increase all penalties and suspensions for impaired driving offences. The announcement comes after Ontario’s Liberal government announced its plan to distribute and sell recreational cannabis. There are plans for a fall summit hosted by the province with policing agencies, public health groups and other stakeholders to discuss the framework for Ontario’s once marijuana is legal. Previously, the government announced plans to sell marijuana in as many as 150 dedicated stores run by the province’s liquor control board and set the legal age to buy the drug at 19.

Meantime, at Toronto City Hall today, the Licensing & Standards Committee voted to follow the lead of the province and continue to crack down on dispensaries. Longtime pot activist Jody Emery is disappointed with the decision. She says the city will pay more in policing and will lose an opportunity for job creation and tax revenue.

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