The Manitoba, Canada government is preparing for federal cannabis legalization with legislation focusing on public safety and harm reduction, according to a MyToba report. The proposal aims to tackle potential problems such as transporting cannabis and driving while under the influence.

The new rules would create an offense for consuming cannabis in a vehicle that is on a highway and allow for 24-hour driver’s license suspensions if a police officer determines that a driver is unable to safely operate a motor vehicle due to drug intoxication. The Registrar of Motor Vehicles would be allowed to determine if the offender should be subject to further consequences. Similar rules would be established for individuals driving off-road vehicles.

Additionally, the proposal would require that cannabis is stored and transported by individuals in an inaccessible and secure compartment – such as the vehicle’s trunk. The same rules currently apply to open liquor containers.

“This legislation would be an early step by our government to target drug-impaired driving and prioritize the health and safety of Manitoba youth,” Justice Minister Heather Stefanson said in the report. “As the federal government moves to legalize cannabis, our government is focused on the safety and health of all Manitobans.”

Canada’s government is expected to announce legalization plans this spring, however full legalization is not expected until 2019.

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