Wednesday, May 11, 2016

DUI? No, I'm Not High!

As legal marijuana proliferates throughout the nation, one of the big questions is ~ how do we keep our streets safe from stoned drivers? With alcohol we have a test; blood alcohol content BAC and a variety of ways to objectively measure it. There is a strong desire in the law enforcement community for a similar type of measurement with marijuana, but a new study finds it may not be that simple.

WASHINGTON -- Six states that allow marijuana use employ legal tests to determine whether someone is driving while impaired by the drug that have no scientific basis, according to a study by the nation's largest automobile club that calls for scrapping those laws.

The study commissioned by AAA's safety foundation said it's not possible to set a blood-test threshold for THC, the chemical in marijuana that makes people high, that can reliably determine impairment. Yet the laws in five of the six states automatically presume a driver guilty if that person tests higher than the limit, and not guilty if it's lower.

As a result, drivers who are unsafe may be going free while others may be wrongly convicted, the foundation said.

The foundation recommends replacing the laws with ones that rely on specially trained police officers to determine if a driver is impaired, backed up by a test for the presence of THC rather than a specific threshold. The officers are supposed to screen for dozens of indicators of drug use, from pupil dilation and tongue color to behavior.

This mirrors my own experience. Regular smoking leads to reduced effects. The same amount of marijuana will have a different effect depending on its frequency of use. Less is more people, less is more! 

7 comments:

  1. Go look over some dui homicide photos and then argue that it is okay to drive a little stoned. You are a complete douchebag

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  2. @12:43

    Who is advocating diving stoned???? Do you know how to read? Apparently not. What part of "The foundation recommends replacing the laws with ones that rely on specially trained police officers to determine if a driver is impaired, backed up by a test for the presence of THC rather than a specific threshold. The officers are supposed to screen for dozens of indicators of drug use, from pupil dilation and tongue color to behavior." do you not understand??? All of it.

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  3. Also, we let people drive 'a little drunk.' The limit is .08. If you advocate a zero limit for marijuana, when it is far less debilitating, you're both a moron and a hypocrite.

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  4. This requires subtlety nuance and traditional law enforcement techniques to suss out causation and impairment, something lost on too many of us I'm afraid including in law enforcement.

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  5. Dudes, stick to civil. Florida had long had DRE experts. If you have to ask, you will never know...

    I am no fan of cops in general, but the dui guys literally save thousands of lives a year in Florida.

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  6. Yep we need more cops busting blacks for having weed on them while driving. Good luck America.

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  7. The point of this article and post is that we need better methods to determine WHEN someone is driving while under the influence of marijuana, not that we should allow people to drive under the influence of marijuana with impunity. I too have friends and loved ones. I don't want to see them splattered on the road by idiots driving while mentally wrecked. Likewise, I don't want to see responsible medical recreational marijuana users punished when they are behaving responsibly.

    Determining which category someone falls in is more complicated than a simple number on a blood test. Sorry, but that's the truth. The world is a complicated place.

    I suggest critics look to the warning labels on many Rx and OTC drugs. "Use caution while operating heavy machinery. May cause drowsiness." Every person is different. Some are incapacitated and some are not.

    I fully stand behind laws that discourage people from driving while inebriated or incapacitate, and punish those who do so. I stand against laws that victimize the innocent in quests for easy fixes to complicated problems.

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