Since marijuana has become legal in various states across the U.S, authorities are trying to determine how ‘High is too high to drive?’. To provide legal standards on drivers that use the plant for medical and recreational issues.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has held different studies and researches to determine the correct amount of levels of THC ( the chemical compound of Marijuana) in driver’s blood.
Yet the studies have shown that measuring THC (tetra-hidro-cannabinol) levels in the blood of drivers can not determine whether the subject is impaired to drive or not. Since the chemical can remain in the human body even months after consuming.
Marijuana impairment while driving
Around 20 states such as: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon and Washington have passed the law of legalizing marijuana within the United States. While other states have decriminalized the drug or admitted it for medical use only.
When it comes to alcohol consumption and driving impairment is easier for authorities to determine when a subject shouldn’t be driving. Thanks to ground tests and alcohol ‘blow’ tests, people can be declared impaired to drive and be punished by the law.
How high is too high to drive? https://t.co/fuvEElHM0D pic.twitter.com/ghGkKF9fVS
— CBC News (@CBCNews) February 3, 2016
Yet legal marijuana is presenting a challenge for authorities to determine when a driver is impaired to drive. The current limits established in the states where the plant is legal are based on arbitrary judgements and unscientific reasons, says the AAA.
This judgements are a possible threat to medical marijuana users that could have consume the drug weeks earlier and still have THC levels on their blood.
An AAA study has determined that the number of fatal crash accidents has doubled in Washington since the legalization of the plant. Yet authorities are not able to determine whether the involved drivers had consumed the drug a little before driving or weeks and months earlier.
Currently there are six states: Colorado, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Washington that have THC limits for drivers to determine whether the driver is considered impaired just as alcohol ground tests.
Despite the similar standard alcohol and marijuana do not behave in the same way when entering the system and as for now, the is no scientific way to determine how high THC levels need to be, to determine driver’s impairment.
“There is no concentration of the drug that allows us to reliably predict that someone is impaired behind the wheel in the way we can with alcohol,” said Jake Nelson the director of the AAA traffic safety advocacy to the Washington Post.
Different statements have proven that regular marijuana users don’t show any judge impairment when driving and even after using the plant. Since THC acts different in every system and it depends on various reasons of the person using it.
The AAA is currently working on a reliable science test that could determine whether a subject is, in fact, impaired to drive after consuming marijuana.
How High is too High to Drive? https://t.co/uoJlIGxVD7 #marijuana pic.twitter.com/555zHLAQCU
— WeedTV (@yourWeedTV) February 18, 2016
Source: AAA Foundation
One thought on “Authorities on Marijuana: How high is too high to drive?”
“Different statements have proven that regular marijuana users don’t show any judge impairment when driving and even after using the plant. Since THC acts different in every system and it depends on various reasons of the person using it.”
And, even differently on the same person over time. After smoking it for some thirty years, for instance, it’s quite different. Studies have shown that marijuana users train themselves to compensate for it, something not even remotely possible with alcohol. Speaking for myself, I’m an aggressive driver when I’m not high. When I am, I’m a much more patient, measured and watchful driver, because that’s how I’ve trained myself to be. If I’m ever involved in an accident, it won’t be caused by marijuana.
What we need is a system of determining accident causality that is objective and impartial, something that is possible with technology today. Cars need black boxes.