With Medical Marijuana Legal, When is Someone Too Stoned to Drive?
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Cheech and Chong...too stoned to drive?
As more and more states legalize medical marijuana, law enforcement needs a new DUI standard, not to mention a Breathalyzer for pot.
Currently, there is no legally established limit for how high a driver can be before they’re a danger on the road. In most instances, if someone is pulled over and found (by observation) to have marijuana in their system, they get cited. Follow-up blood tests may show the presence of THC, the active compound in marijuana, in a person’s body, but the reality is that THC can stick around for weeks after using.
Scientists have been working on the problem, but so far have not figured out a way to properly measure how much THC can be present before someone is considered at risk behind the wheel.
White House drug czar Gil Kerlikowske has said he will be “dead—and so will lots of other people—from old age, before we know the impairment levels” for marijuana and other drugs.
The lack of a clear-cut test has not stopped one politician in California, Assemblywoman Norma Torres (D-Pomona), from introducing legislation that states anyone driving while stoned would be slapped with an automatic DUI offense regardless of the person’s THC level. Torres has received campaign contributions from beer companies and the Wine Institute.
To Learn More:
Stoned Driving Adds A New Wrinkle To Marijuana Debate (by Kristen Wyatt, Associated Press)
Marijuana Sobriety Checkpoints: New Legislation to Outlaw Driving While Stoned (by Chris Roberts, SF Weekly)
Medical Marijuana Reduces Traffic Deaths (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)
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