The Pot and Driving Campaign

smoking pot in the cockpit

The information presented here dates from a CPHA project on Pot and Driving concluded in 2006. References to laws may not reflect current legislation, and more recent research may augment the information presented here. This section is not being updated, and is presented here in recognition of its ongoing general utility and informativeness.

The campaign and its resources

You’ll never hear pilots announce to their passengers that they’re smoking a joint before takeoff so they can relax and enjoy the flight. But if these pilots were drivers and they were in a car, would the situation be different?

On November 21, 2005, the CPHA, with funding from Canada’s Drug Strategy, Health Canada, launched the Pot and Driving campaign to raise awareness among young Canadian drivers, 14-18 years-of-age, and their passengers of the risks of cannabis-impaired driving. This national campaign was developed through an extensive review of current evidence and input from both professionals and Canadian youth.

Why the Pilots?

Arnold Worldwide Canada developed the pot-smoking pilots concept, one of four concepts tested in focus groups involving young Canadians in British Columbia, Manitoba, and Quebec. Reactions of participants in all groups to the pot-smoking pilots were immediate and thoughtful: “Pilots are professionals; they wouldn’t do that sort of thing” and “The pilot is the one who has to deal with potential problems and disturbances; he’s the one with your life in his hands.” The safety of passengers was an expressed concern, with comments such as, “Because they’re smoking up, there can be very serious consequences because there are a lot of passengers” and “If you were a passenger you wouldn’t want to know that your pilots were rolling a joint.”

Getting Involved

So how do you become involved in this campaign? Quite simply by starting the discussion about pot and driving. We’ve provided the pot-smoking pilots poster to raise interest, the 10 Questions to start the discussion, the youth-oriented responses to those questions, and the research to back it all up.


We hope you will download and use these Pot and Driving resources:

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