Legalization of Marijuana and Personal InjuryOctober 02, 2015
Much has been said about the possible criminal ramifications of legalizing marijuana, but not much has been said about its legalization and the relationship to personal injury, which has a lot of people asking “Is this a trip we want to take?”
Hosted by the Ontario Injury Prevention Resource Centre, the 16th annual “Not By Accident” conference, entitled “Cannabis Legalization – Is this a trip we want to take?”, focused on the possible safety implications marijuana’s legalization or decriminalization could have on healthcare workers and society in general.
Some of the alleged problems in the legalization of marijuana include insufficient knowledge of possible contraindications and blood tolerance levels, as well as implications for the health care industry, workplace safety and the law, according to Jane Herrington, an injury prevention specialist with the trauma program at the London Health Sciences Centre. Colorado recently decriminalized marijuana, and thus the conference invited Lisa Barker of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to speak about the effects of that decision. In commenting on her presentation, Herrington said, “I think, surprisingly, there hasn’t been a huge spike in law enforcement issues [in Colorado]. It’s a zero-tolerance for driving under the influence of marijuana in Colorado, so there haven’t been a whole lot of issues in that regard, as well as crime, which is one of the things people talk about with marijuana legalization, there hasn’t been a spike there.”
In Ontario it is illegal to drive under the influence of drugs, including marijuana. However, other issues include whether insurance companies have responsibility to cover any liability for damages caused out of the illegal possession or use of marijuana by a property owner, as well as liability for medical marijuana and its legitimate use under prescription. There have also been reports that some edible forms of marijuana has led to the hospitalization of children.
It is yet to be seen how the possible legalization of marijuana will affect the legal landscape. In the meantime, we continue to watch in earnest to see what its decriminalization means for personal injury law in Canada. If you have been involved in an accident, speak to a lawyer to understand your rights. Book a free consultation or call 1-855-446-7765 for immediate assistance.
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