With the date of legalizing marijuana drawing closer and closer, SGI is ramping up their process to combat possible drug-impaired drivers.

According to the federal government recreational cannabis will become legal as of July 1, so with only a few months time left, SGI is working on a strategy to reduce potential impaired drivers.

Joe Hargrave, the minister responsible for SGI, said they will have multiple deterrents for marijuana-impaired drivers ready to go.

"We will have the awareness campaign come out with the legalized marijuana," he said during a media scrum. "SGI is also paying for more drug recognition experts, so we're having another 60 officers trained. We will be as ready as we can be for that".

There are currently 74 trained drug recognition experts in Saskatchewan. 

The drug recognition experts use a 12-step test to determine sobriety. This involves examining a suspect's vital signs, eyes, balance and ability to concentrate, though some are questioning the reliability of the assessment.

When asked if these tests are scientific, Minister Hargrave replied, "It works. There's no machine involved in it, but these people are trained to recognize when people are impaired by drugs. The courts recognize it and that's the important part."

Hargrave believes SGI and the RCMP can only prepare a certain amount, before the blame is on the driver.

"There is only so much SGI can do," he stated. "We can have ads out there and bring in new laws, but if you don't do something and take that action, then another innocent victim could die."

Joe Hargrave Minister Responsible for SGIJoe Hargrave - Minister Responsible for SGI

 

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