Pot pipe in car earns driver ticket in West Van

You can’t put that in your pipe and smoke it – not if you’re behind the wheel, that is.

Recreational use of marijuana is now legal in Canada but that still doesn’t mean it’s a free-for-all, West Vancouver Police are warning motorists.

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One 23-year-old Calgary man was the first to get that reminder in the form of a $230 ticket early Tuesday morning, after police conducting a road block on the Lions Gate Bridge around 2 a.m. Nov. 6 spotted a marijuana-filled pipe on the console of the 2010 Jeep Patriot, within reach of the driver.

The pipe wasn’t lit – and presumably neither was the driver.

But the law still prohibits the use of cannabis by anyone while driving or in a vehicle, said Const. Jeff Palmer of the West Vancouver Police.

Adults are allowed to possess and transport up to 30 grams marijuana in a vehicle but it must be in a sealed package, away from the driver – similar to the laws banning open alcohol in cars.

In the case of the pipe-packing driver, there was no suggestion of impairment, said Palmer.

Those who drive while impaired by cannabis, alcohol, other drugs or a combination of those are subject to a 90-day roadside driving ban.

Under the law, smoking or vaping cannabis is banned in all places where tobacco smoking is banned like enclosed public spaces and work places, as well as playgrounds, sports fields, skate parks and other places where children commonly gather.

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