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WINTER 2020 | 45 PHOTOGRAPHY UNSPLASH/OLIUR S TEP INTO ANY Ontario dispensary and you'll find a variety of food and drinks containing cannabis, including chocolate, pop and gummies. These edible cannabis products, which became legal in late 2019, have proven popular with Canadians. But when it comes to driving, experts say they can be a ticking time bomb. Like smokeable cannabis, edibles are a powerful intoxicant that can slow reaction times, impair decision-making and cause drivers to veer out of their lanes. But they can also stay in your system for up to 12 hours, and their delayed high —some take up to two hours to kick in—can turn a seemingly sober driver into an impaired one. To raise awareness about those dangers, CAA recently launched a major advertising campaign with a simple message: if you consume edibles, don't drive. With spots appearing everywhere from YouTube to Instagram, the push is taking aim at younger people; a recent CAA study found that some 20 per cent of young drivers have either driven while high or been driven by someone who was high. "Do your thing. We're not here to cast judgment on what you do," says Teresa Di Felice, the assistant vice president of government and community relations with CAA South Central Ontario. "But what we're asking is that if you are partaking, do anything but drive." The campaign, which began in September and will run through at least the end of the year, shares the results of CAA's research on the effects of cannabis on driving. A clinical trial at McGill University, funded by CAA, found the drug can affect younger drivers more than five hours a"er being consumed, leaving them at a higher risk of ge•ing into a collision. Contrary to popular belief, consuming cannabis doesn't make people be•er drivers, Di Felice says. "In actuality, that's a myth." If you're going to try edibles, experts say it's important to start small because their effects can vary wildly from person to person. Health Canada recommends that first-time users consume edibles with no more than 2.5 micrograms of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis. (In some cases, that may mean breaking up products, like cookies and gummies.) It's also important to remember that despite their benign appearance, edibles are still a drug, Di Felice says. "In the end, you're still high and you shouldn't get behind the wheel." Don't Drive High CAA launches a campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of edibles For more information on the "Do Anything But Drive" campaign, visit

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