The legislation on cannabis

Amendments to the Highway Safety Code in relation to the legalization of cannabis

Warning
The information contained on this site does not replace the text of the law, which has an official status. In addition, it is not exhaustive.

The principal measures are:

  • the introduction of “zero drug tolerance” prohibiting any person from driving a road vehicle or having care or control of it if there is a detectable presence of cannabis or another drug in the person’s saliva;
    • This measure will come into effect when effective equipment becomes available to detect the presence of cannabis in saliva. The equipment must be able to be used on the roadside by peace officers and must have been approved by both the competent federal authorities and the Minister of Public Security of Québec;
    • Until the equipment becomes available to detect the recent consumption of cannabis, peace officers will continue to use the evaluations that enable them to detect that a person is impaired by cannabis or other drug;
    • An exception to this measure could be provided by a government regulation for the benefit of consumers of medical cannabis, subject to certain conditions. The exception would not, in any case, permit the persons concerned to drive a road vehicle when they are impaired.
  • the addition of a series of measures that will contribute to ensuring the safety of road users;
    • a peace officer may immediately suspend, for 90 days, the licence of any person driving a road vehicle if, according to the evaluation conducted by an evaluating officer, the person is impaired by cannabis or any other drug or by a combination of cannabis or any other drug and alcohol;
      • The offender’s vehicle could be seized if, in the past, the offender was found guilty of an offence in connection with alcohol or a drug.
    • a peace officer may also immediately suspend, for 90 days, the licence of any person who fails or refuses to comply with an order given to the person by a peace officer to submit to physical coordination tests or to provide samples of saliva that the peace officer deems necessary to carry out the appropriate analysis with the help of the approved drug detection equipment;
    • make it possible, given the risks associated with the reality of poly drug use (drug users are also likely to drive with alcohol in their body) and of its effects on road safety, to impose severe penalties on drivers who must drive a vehicle equipped with an alcohol ignition interlock device if they fail to comply with the zero drug rule;
      • in this context, in cases of driving with alcohol, cannabis or drugs present in the body, the holder of a licence subject to the mandatory use of an alcohol ignition interlock device will be liable to a fine of $1500 to $3000, in addition to having his or her licence immediately suspended for 90 days and his or her vehicle seized for 30 days.
    • the consumption of cannabis or other types of drugs in a road vehicle, an off-highway vehicle or on a bicycle is prohibited.

Last update: December 5, 2018 1:30 PM