Testing times for cannabis in Victoria

Victoria will conduct an 18-month trial to determine whether drivers who use medicinal cannabis can drive safely. What will this mean for roadside drug testing?

In recent months, the Victorian Government has announced they will conduct a trial to determine whether Victorians who use medicinal cannabis can drive safely.

They’ve partnered with Swinburne University of Technology for the 18-month trial, which will take place on a closed-circuit track. They hope the trial will be able to assess the effects of doctor-prescribed medicinal cannabis on people’s driving ability.

The Victorian Government are spruiking the $4.9 million trial as the first of its kind in the world to study prescribed medicinal cannabis users driving on a dedicated track. Researchers will mimic real-world driving conditions. The will monitor participants’ ability to manage distractions and assess their driving performance including steering, braking and speed control.

Currently in Victoria, it is illegal to drive with THC in your system. THC is the active compound in medicinal cannabis. Therefore, if you are caught in roadside drug testing with THC, even if it is caused by prescribed medicinal cannabis, you are likely to lose your licence and receive a fine.

Why is driving and medicinal cannabis an issue?

While medicinal cannabis is legal with a prescription, concerns remain regarding its use in safety sensitive environments. Such as when you are driving or working in a workplace where safety is important.

As highlighted above, medicinal cannabis contains THC, which can impair users and increase the risk of accidents. This is why the current advice for medicinal cannabis users is to not drive while using the medication.

As highlighted, using medicinal cannabis and then driving is not just a potential safety issue; it can also result in roadside drug testing consequences. The same goes in the workplace, where cannabis – medicinal or otherwise – can affect a person’s ability to perform a job safely, and result in drug testing positives.

To find out more about medicinal cannabis and its role in the workplace, see our in-depth Medicinal Cannabis Resource.

A craving for chicken can also land you in drug and alcohol testing trouble in Victoria!

One person who is unlikely to be doing a lot of driving in Victoria over the next few months is a driver who failed alcohol testing.

A common occurrence, you may think, and you’d be right. What was uncommon in this case is that police were called when the driver drove his car the wrong way through the drive through of a fast-food chicken establishment. He then got his vehicle stuck in the drive through.

When Victoria Police officers arrived, they conducted alcohol testing. This revealed, allegedly, that the driver was over the blood alcohol level limit. It’s not the only trouble the driver is facing. He also allegedly refused an evidentiary breath test and was driving while unlicenced.

Chances are he also went home without any chicken!


Victoria will conduct an 18-month trial to determine whether drivers who use medicinal cannabis can drive safely.

Victoria has announced a medicinal cannabis driving trial. What will this mean for roadside drug testing?

By Michael

Michael is the founder of Integrity Sampling and is responsible for overseeing all national operations. He is based at Integrity Sampling's head office in Melbourne and is also responsible for the co-ordination of drug and alcohol testing within Victoria, assisting in the implementation of drug and alcohol (fit for work) policies and the presentation of drug and alcohol education and awareness programs. You can connect with Michael Wheeldon on LinkedIn

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