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Government discussing a drug abuse program as legalized cannabis approaches

OTTAWA, Ont. – Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau says the Government of Canada is actively working on a policy to address marijuana impairment in the workplace.

The minister sent a letter to the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA), the Railway Association of Canada, and the Canadian Urban Transit Association in response to concerns the three groups have been raising about use of the drug by those in safety sensitive positions.

Although an official date has yet to be announced by the government, cannabis is set to be legalized nation-wide this summer.

Garneau said policy analysis will look at the scope of the problem, considering how often transportation workers are impaired while on the job, and the impact of the impairment.

Any analysis will also consider the approaches of other countries to impairment, privacy issues, human rights issues that may be raised by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and occupational health and safety standards.

Any solutions will also take into account the capacity of the transportation sector to absorb potential costs.

“…discussions will include the need, design, and depth of a comprehensive substance abuse program,” said Garneau.

The CTA says its goal throughout the discussions is to ensure commercial drivers remain the safest operators on public roads.

“This is a complicated issue involving multiple departments and legal matters. The policy direction outlined by the minister is sound and CTA looks forward to working with Transport Canada to ensure that our industry’s concerns are taken into consideration,” said CTA President Stephen Laskowski. “CTA’s goal is to see the eventual introduction of mandatory drug and alcohol testing for commercial truck drivers in Canada.”

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2 Comments » for Government discussing a drug abuse program as legalized cannabis approaches
  1. James Tripp says:

    The previous Harper Government was forced into allowing medicinal cannabis by several court challenges and as a retaliatory response, they completely removed all responsibility for Medicinal Cannabis liability from Health Canada and placed in solely on the backs of Doctors across the country; This is a major factor affecting why the College of Physicians and Surgeons currently strongly recommends doctors do not prescribe cannabis therapy.

    Cannabis has been ignored as the potent medicine it truly is due to the pharmaceutical industry’s failure to successfully isolate and synthesize any successful cannabinoid compounds; They have ignored the synergy and entourage effects of the complex of over 100 Cannabinoids and 100s of terpenes in the Cannabis plant due to the industry wide fixation on the current ‘Isolate, target, and Patent for Profit’ system of pharmaceutical research.

    There is an Institutionalized Pervasive Negative Bias against all forms of Cannabis Use that is rampant in virtually all institutions that form the structure of our society and those who populate those agencies are institutionalized to think ideologically and only in terms of addiction and harm reduction, crime and punishment, Patent and Profit…; In the case of Cannabis they are completely ignoring the abundance of positive heath benefits that the various forms of Whole Plant Cannabinoid Therapy could provide a multitude of Canadians, all because it conflicts with their established ideological mentality or they could not profit.

    Our Medical Institutions, and the professionals within them that make up part of our society, have been either complicit, or at the very least, had blind faith in the claims of the Pharmaceutical industry while simultaneously ignoring the abundance of scientific studies, and evidence, indicating Cannabinoids have multiple health care applications from treating depression, to curing Cancer (Cannabinoids kill cancer cells via apoptosis and anti-angiogenesis. Know since 1974), to preventing and treating Alzheimer’s.

    They ignore the positives of medicinal cannabis and continue to perpetuate the same false narrative that ‘Cannabis is inherently dangerous’, that has perpetuated for decades with essentially no valid foundation in scientific reality; I believe they do this because they would first have to admit that Cannabis works as a treatment for many Human Ailments; Second they would have to admit they do not know how it works, that Cannabinoids should have been intensely studied for at least 5 decades, if not more, and they would essentially have to admit that not only they, but society as a whole, has completely failed on the issue of cannabis and Public Health.

    Until our Governments, Our Public Institutions, Our Medical professionals and the institutions they represent, Our Law Enforcement Agencies, and society in general, abandon the decades of misinformation and misunderstanding on how the phytocannabinoids in the cannabis plant interact with the Human Endocannabinoid System, we will continue to spend more resources on unnecessary legislation and continued delays instead of implementing proper legislation providing access to the vast medicinal potential of this very safe and effective medicinal plant and health supplement.

  2. Robert Allard says:

    Looking at the way this government came around to legalise POT it is all about Greed and for the pot industries to be operational this year well it has been in the move for a long time yet. This will be more burden on the shoulders of companies not enough with booze and other drugs now smoke in truck yes cigarettes or pot who knows??
    What does humans right and charter of rights have to do with being stone while driving any vehicles especially Highway trucks?? Good luck to Safety personal and the drug testing….. more cost and all be for the companies. Feel sorry for you guys.

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