Manitoba Establishes Pre-set Fines for Cannabis-related Offences

Manitoba has established pre-set fines for cannabis-related provincial offences as part of ongoing efforts to make Manitobans aware of the laws and their consequences, Justice Minister Cliff Cullen announced today.

“Our government is committed to protecting the health and safety of Manitobans as we manage the consequences of the federal government’s decision to legalize cannabis,” said Cullen. “Our government has introduced a number of laws relating to cannabis in the interest of public safety and these fines ensure we are open and transparent with Manitobans about the consequences of breaking the law.”

The pre-set fines include offences related to:
• supplying cannabis to a young person under age 19;
• growing recreational cannabis in a residence in Manitoba;
• smoking and vaping cannabis in provincial parks;
• transporting cannabis, if not properly stored;
• consuming cannabis in or on vehicles including off-road vehicles; and
• failing drug-screening tests for both novice and supervising drivers as part of the graduated driver licensing program.

The pre-set fines largely mirror similar penalties in place for alcohol-related offences, Cullen said. Tickets for these offences range from $113 to $2,542, based on the severity of the offence.

The new fines align sanctions for novice, supervising and other drivers in the GDL program. The new sanctions will require these drivers be able to pass a drug-screening test while having care or control of a motor vehicle, mirroring the restrictions currently in place for these drivers in relation to alcohol consumption.

“As a government, we understand that drugged driving is every bit as dangerous as drunk driving,” said Cullen. “The new drug-related restrictions for novice drivers ensure that we treat cannabis just as seriously as we treat alcohol for drivers that are just learning to safely operate a vehicle.”

Similar to the prohibitions around liquor, legislation will prohibit smoking and vaping cannabis in provincial parks in shared public spaces such as roadways and beaches. Additional restrictions will be implemented within government-operated locations in parks including campsites in campgrounds, outdoor spaces adjacent to yurts and vacation cabins, canoe routes and trails along with remote outdoor locations as well as back-country trails and campsites.

Certain exceptions will apply to medical cannabis along with private residences and cottage lots located within provincial parks. There will also be exceptions surrounding commercial establishments, where owners and operators can establish their own rules surrounding cannabis use for their patrons.

By establishing pre-set fines, it allows those charged to voluntarily pay their fine without having to appear in court, said Cullen, adding this ensures less court time spent on cannabis-related offences for judicial officials and police officers.

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