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DUI Cannabis

By January 22, 2019Firm News
DUI Cannabis

Many states now allow marijuana use for medical reasons, and others are exploring permissible recreational use.  Since this is largely unchartered territory where driving is concerned, many policymakers are considering how to address issues of driving under the influence of cannabis.

To be sure, cannabis alters behavior, and that, unquestionably, is going to affect users’ ability to drive.  It remains to be seen, however, whether driving under the influence of cannabis is any different than driving under the influence of alcohol.

Part of the problem with using cannabis while driving is that there is no good way to detect cannabis-caused driving impairment.  Breathalyzer tests for cannabis have not yet been created. And blood tests are not conclusive because THC (a main ingredient in cannabis) levels drop sharply in the blood in a matter of minutes.  Blood tests also cannot indicate how recent the use occurred or the extent of impairment.

But as the United States shifts farther and farther away from keeping marijuana illegal, policymakers will need to grapple with this issue sooner rather than later.  And it seems likely that driving under the influence of cannabis will be regulated in much the same way that driving under the influence of alcohol is.