Canada’s Airline Crews Now Banned From Consuming Cannabis Prior to Flying
To ensure that pilots and air traffic controllers aren’t taking liberties with legalization, Transport Canada will now mandate at least a month of marijuana sobriety for all flight crew members.
Published on June 6, 2019

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Canadian airline pilots, flight attendants, mechanics, and more just got a major buzzkill from the country’s air travel authorities. In the wake of nationwide legalization, Transport Canada has implemented a new rule outlawing cannabis use by flight crew members 28 days before commercial travel. 

According to the CBC, the new policy mandate comes as a direct result of Canada’s groundbreaking nationwide legalization initiative, with the federal agency opting to reconsider its intoxication standards in the wake of prohibition’s fall.

Flight crews should not be "under the influence of any drug that impairs the person's faculties to the extent that aviation safety is affected," Transport Canada said in a press release. The agency continued by calling the 28-day wait period "aligned with the best available science," and noting that the four-week mark was the same on-duty standard observed by the Department of National Defence and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Practically, the 28-day restriction probably has more to do with drug testing than concern for leftover intoxication after recent pot use. Since cannabis can stay in the body for at least a month, a 28-day grace period would typically produce clean urine tests, while a one or two week period could turn up trace amounts of THC in regular users.

The new rule is effective immediately, but it has not yet been announced if the agency will be executing drug tests to try and enforce the policy. Either way, if you’re getting ready to fly a 747 out of Canada in the next month or so, it might be a good time to put down the pot.

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Zach Harris
Zach Harris is a writer based in Philadelphia whose work has appeared on Noisey, First We Feast, and Jenkem Magazine. You can find him on Twitter @10000youtubes complaining about NBA referees.
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