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.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
 
To Learn More:
Stoned Driving Adds A New Wrinkle To Marijuana Debate (by Kristen Wyatt, Associated Press)

Medical Marijuana Reduces Traffic Deaths (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov) 

Comments

pam 2 years ago
people have been driving under the influence of marijuana for decades and society has not demanded law enforcemnt create a dui penalty for this activity. now that the government is being mandated by the citizens to lighten up it's control on marijuana the agencies are stumbling to keep this part of the drug war relevant. this comes in the form of outdated demand by law enforcement for placing dui limits. following this, will there be limits of how much prescription drugs a person can have in their system to drive? how about people who can't drive in rush hour traffic without xanax or valium. the lingering drowsy effects of ativan or the jittery anxiety of adderrol in rush hour traffic. starbucks sells coffee strong enough to cause people to hit and run pedestrians in pasco, idaho. when is the government going to get out of our backseat? never. we're a police state under the false guise of a land of freedom policy paid for by corporations.
oldstoner 2 years ago
it's absurd to try. might as well seek to determine how much coffee or sleep deprivation leads to "impairment." and what about astrological influences? age? a big turkey dinner? ... the assumption that marijuana impairs driving is just that -- an assumption. if, in fact, it did have a statistically noticeable effect, the rabid right would have had no trouble legislating draconian penalties for driving "stoned" years ago. since there is no effect, they haven't been able to do this -- yet. but they'll keep trying: there has to be some quid pro quo, apparently, for decriminalization -- to save face after decades of a racist and massively destructive policy of prohibition -- so we're going to have to pretend it has a negative effect on driving?

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