Marijuana Legalization Prompting Examination Of Impaired-Driving Laws

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon
marijuana legalization prompting examination of impaired driving laws

How much marijuana is too much before getting the wheel? No one seems to know for sure despite the overwhelming support for related impaired-driving laws.

According to The Detroit Bureau, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found 85 percent of Americans are in support of marijuana-impairment legislation, but the definition itself is up in smoke. President and CEO Peter Kissinger explained that 16 states “forbid any presence of prohibited drugs, while five others have specific limits for marijuana.”

Other consistency issues go beyond just the amount in one’s bloodstream, such as when one would be fine to drive, and the low concern for drug-impaired driving compared to alcohol’s own effects, with only 50 percent feeling a “very serious” threat from Jeff Spicoli & Co.

Prescription drugs were found to be less a threat to other drivers than marijuana et al, where only 25 percent found usage of cold medications, certain antidepressants and medical marijuana a major threat on the highway.

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  • Raresleeper Raresleeper on Dec 30, 2014

    Murkying the waters here, quite a bit. If you've been smoking pot all night, in general, an officer can tell! White substance on your tongue (lol, "cotton mouth")- check. Eyes clearly blood shot?- check. There's more detection factors than that. Yes, you can be charged with DUI if said officer has an inclination that you've been "chiefing". Don't ride with your buds (keep it at home, kiddies). A little here and there is good for the soul, and damned good for your vision... but if you've been chain smoking for the hell of it, best not to drive! Now, queue "The More You Know" Theme Song. You're welcome :)

    • See 2 previous
    • Lie2me Lie2me on Dec 30, 2014

      @raresleeper Oh yeah, those too, Yum!

  • Carguy Carguy on Dec 30, 2014

    The road fatality rate in states with legal weed have not increased since legalization so why the concern? Also, if there is talk of expanding the detection of impairing substances then they had better also include Valium, Xanax, opiate painkillers and antidepressants.

  • -Nate -Nate on Dec 30, 2014

    The bitch is : I don't smoke pot but I *did* grow up (sorta) then so I still find all those movies and jokes, songs etc. very funny . Try explaining this when you're in a roomfull of L.A.P.D. or L.A.S.O.... -Nate

  • Ttacgreg Ttacgreg on Dec 31, 2014

    My two cent's worth, from personal experience. Back prior to the mid 80's when I "gave up the habit" I drove stoned more often than not. I was smoking behind the wheel basically, easily logged a good hundred thousand miles. I will concede modern cannabis is far stronger, but that said, even then I would smoke until a certain point was reached, and that varied according to quality back then. (Insert joke here about how f******g boring and tedious the 55 speed limit was) There is a widespread false equivalency in people's minds between alcohol and cannabis. Most certainly drunk driving is far more dangerous. To this day I routinely ski with friends who slip into the woods and get baked and go right back back out on the trail and ski and ride with the best, including in the bumps. Skiing bumps is mentally, judgmentally, and demanding of accurate physical-motor responses, that are orders of magnitude more demanding than normal street driving. If all the drunk drivers on the road today could be dosed with cannabis rather ethanol, traffic fatalities would likely go down by many thousands per year.