Don't smoke up and drive: MPI trying to get in front of drug drivers

Manitoba Public Insurance kicked off a campaign warning about the dangers of impaired driving— from pot — Thursday.

Legal THC limit yet to be determined

MPI said research shows young people are taking rides from friends who are high and added an anonymous survey it did last fall led them to be concerned after it showed one out of every 10 drivers were driving while impaired from driving. (ambrozinio/Shutterstock)

Manitoba Public Insurance kicked off a campaign warning about the dangers of impaired driving — from pot — Thursday.

Don't smoke up and drive, MPI urged, as provincial officials reiterated concerns about the looming legalization of marijuana in Canada July 18, 2018. 

MPI's campaign is asking drivers to think again about getting behind the wheel while impaired but neither the auto insurer or the province would reveal the THC level a driver would have to have in their system to be considered high.

Starting this fall, the dangers of smoking marijuana and then driving will be discussed in driver's education classes and school, MPI vice-president of business development Ward Keith said, adding the Crown corporation is worried about new drivers who lack maturity and might be beginning to experiment with drugs. 

A survey by MPI showed one in 10 Manitoba drivers had tested positive for drugs last fall, which worries officials.

Edible pot a concern: Pallister

"People take for granted that driving really is a complex task that requires full concentration," said Keith.

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister expressed concern about edible pot, saying drivers who consume the products have "pretty shocking" amounts of THC in their bodies, according to preliminary numbers from the U.S.

"This has raised our concerns."