Driving While High

January 4, 2013


One of the concerns that some had about legalizing marijuana was how to regulate drivers under the influence.  Washington and Colorado had no standard for marijuana, like most states because marijuana was illegal.  Now with the legalization of marijuana in these two states, they have to come up with something to regulate drivers who smoke marijuana.


In I-502, Washington included a standard so that Washington voters who are concerned with road safety would pass the vote.  Much like the limit for being intoxicated is .08 for alcohol, the limit for marijuana is 5 nanograms.  Now, marijuana users have their own questions.  How will this be regulated and how will it be determined how much marijuana is in one's system.?  


"Patrol officers do not have a blood test for marijuana. If a driver's alcohol test exonerates drink, the officer can call in a drug-recognition expert who can decide to do a blood draw. If the draw picks up an intoxicant, that's evidence against the driver, but Robert Calkins, spokesman for the Washington State Patrol, says convictions are based mostly on testimony about the driving. Under Initiative 502 a blood level of 5 nanograms of THC would mean guilty. Clearly such guilty. Clearly, such a standard would make the work of the police and courts much easier. If the standard is scientifically valid, it should be in the law. About that, the pro- and anti-502 sides offer studies, none conclusive."

What do you think about the legal limit for marijuana? Do you think that marijuana is impairing to drivers?