One in seven Canadians admits to driving high, according to the National Cannabis Survey. (Cannabis Culture/Flickr photo)

14% of people admit to driving after smoking pot: Stats Canada

Number considerably lower in B.C., where only 8% reported driving high

One in seven Canadians has admitted to getting behind the wheel while high, according to Statistics Canada.

The figures were released Thursday as part of the National Cannabis Survey, which the agency is carrying out prior to the drug becoming legal across the country on Oct. 17.

The survey suggests 14 per cent of people drove within two hours of consuming marijuana, while another five per cent were a passenger with a driver who had consumed it within two hours.

The number of high drivers was considerably lower in B.C., where only eight per cent of people said they’ve driven high.

Canada-wide, men were twice as likely as women to report getting behind the wheel high. The behaviour was more than four times as common among regular marijuana users than occasional ones.

Notably, people aged 15-24 reported using cannabis three times as much as older people, but their rates of driving high were nearly equal.

Under the incoming pot legalization laws, drivers with between two and five nanograms per millimetre of tetrahydrocannabinol, the main active ingredient in pot, in their blood could net a fine of $1,000. Those with five or more nanograms per millimetre would face a minimum fine of $1,000, and up to five years of jail time for repeated offences.

The federal government is set to approve a roadside saliva test for marijuana use by mid-August.


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