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1.9 million Ontarians have driven under the influence of pot

A young man smokes a marijuana joint during a rally in downtown Vancouver, B.C., on April 20, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

With marijuana legalization less than two weeks away, new data suggests a staggering number of Ontarians have admitted to driving under the influence of cannabis.

On Thursday, the CAA released new research that shows 1.9 million Ontario drivers have driven under the influence of pot. More than 735,000 having done so in the last three months.

The CAA also commissioned a poll, which was conducted by Ipsos in July, that revealed 69 per cent of men between the ages of 25 and 34 are more likely to drive under the influence of pot. Thirty-nine per cent of novice drivers also said they also drove while high.

“The fact that those who drive under the influence of cannabis are most likely to be young, novice drivers, with less experience on the road, is something that we should all be concerned about,” CAA spokesperson Elliott Silverstein said in a release.

The poll surveyed 1,000 Ontarians over the age of 19 who own, lease or drive a vehicle and have a valid driver’s licence.

CAA’s research also found that 205,800 drivers consumed alcohol and pot before getting behind the wheel in the last three months.

Cannabis becomes legal in Canada on Oct. 17.

CAA released its research into driving while under the influence of pot on Oct. 4, 2018. HANDOUT/CAA
CAA released its research into driving while under the influence of pot on Oct. 4, 2018. HANDOUT/CAA