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Cannabis & The Law: The TBPS Is Prepared

Yesterday Traffic Unit Cst. Mark Cattani spoke with Thunder Bay Television about what the TBPS is doing in response to impaired driving. Here are some clips from that interview. Below is the original news release issues yesterday morning:

As everyone knows, the new laws for the use of cannabis take effect on October 17th. The Thunder Bay Police Service has been busy preparing for this major change in legislation and how the use of this product will impact public safety.
What about impaired driving?

Last year, the TBPS dealt with 208 impaired drivers. Unfortunately, this seems to be a growing trend which has increased in the past three years. Alcohol is not the sole cause of impairment for drivers. The use of drugs, both prescribed and illicit have been of great concern for police as they investigate impaired driving.

The Thunder Bay Police Service employs a number of enforcement tools including roadside sobriety testing, roadside screening devices for alcohol and testing instruments for blood alcohol levels. We also utilize drug recognition experts who are specially trained police officers who are experts in drug detection.

So far in 2018, the TBPS has charged 123 persons with impaired driving. Of that number, 12 were accused of being impaired by drugs. The risk to our community from people driving high is a real concern. Unfortunately, we expect to see more impaired driving in the near term as the novelty of legal cannabis takes hold. While enforcement of the new tough laws governing cannabis and driving are important, the best way to counter this threat is through education. Driving while impaired is dangerous and can lead to tragic and deadly consequences.

The Thunder Bay Police Service has invested in extensive training for our officers regarding impaired drivers. This training will continue. We are continuing to uphold the laws which help keep our roadways safe. In addition, the TBPS will continue to promote safe driving through education and outreach. It is vital that the public learns about the new laws and understands the life altering consequences of impaired driving. Don’t put yourself or others in danger by driving under the influence!

Will illegal cannabis still be an issue for police and the community?

Yes. As long as there is money to be made, organized crime will always find ways to be in the drug business. Thunder Bay Police will continue to enforce the law and investigate illegal drug activity. The move to legalize and regulate cannabis use and sales is designed to put controls in place to help protect society. As with any illegal drug activity, there is no place for illegal cannabis in our community. Be safe and sensible in using recreational cannabis. Know the law!


The Thunder Bay Police Service will continue to work with government and our community partners to address and adapt to the changes that are coming as October 17th. The public has an important role in making the use of cannabis both safe and responsible.
Links and more information on the new laws can be found at:

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