Winnipeg police are off to a white hot start so far, as the first weed-related traffic ticket has already been issued.
The first ticket was issued by Winnipeg Police Service traffic division inspector Gord Spado around 1AM when he found somebody getting lit in their car — that’s only 59 minutes after the green good stuff was legalized.
“An hour into legality, and something illegal,” said Inspector Spado.
Winnipeg police quickly took to Twitter to share the news.
So … this happened early this morning: A Consume Cannabis in a Motor Vehicle ticket was issued. Just like alcohol, consuming cannabis is legal – and like alcohol, consuming it in your vehicle is **not**. #KnowYourRole pic.twitter.com/RR9AUBv4RN
— Winnipeg Police (@wpgpolice) October 17, 2018
The tweet garnered a ton of negative responses pretty quickly, with many people seemingly upset with the new rule. One user even went so far as to ask if Spado could have been sure that it was even THC that the perp was smoking.
How did you know that this cannabis had THC in it? Is it ok to smoke Pot without THC in your car? Some people use pot for the CBD? Would you ticket someone for a non-alcohol beer in their car?
— Blair Zingle (@BlairZingle) October 17, 2018
Although highly probable that the cannabis was purchased illegally (it only became legal at 12:01, so it’s unlikely somebody could get their hands on it that quickly), the ticket only pertained to the fact that the weed was consumed in a car. “It doesn’t look like anything was pursued as far as the illicit component of it goes,” said Spado. “I think that’s just the education piece of our members, knowing where to go with that. It’s still new to us, too, right, so we’re still learning.”
According to Spado, it will be hard to say for sure if weed was acquired illegally. Same goes for edibles, as it will become increasingly difficult to tell if the snacks people consume in their car are actually just regular snacks.
“If somebody has an edible in a car and we can prove it, that’s also an offense,” he said. “Sometimes we can [prove it], sometimes we can’t. And when edibles are legally produced commercially, then it might be a little bit easier, because there’ll be packaging and things like that that might be visible.”
Don’t let the passive Canadian stereotype fool you — the perpetrator was hit with a hefty ticket in the amount of $672, which isn’t even the most expensive marijuana-related fine you can receive.
While a driver carrying cannabis on them can rack up a $237 ticket, consuming cannabis in a car either on the highway or off-road will run you $672. Same goes for smoking or vaping in a public place or provincial park. These fines are nothing in comparison, however, to growing non-medical cannabis in a Manitoba County residence or supplying it to a person under 19. Those things will cost you a cool $2,542.
It also goes without saying that driving under the influence can be dangerous; a recent study done at McGill University showed that waiting at least six hours after consumption is the safest time to drive.
So, take it slow, Canada. No need to ruin a good thing right away.