As jurisdictions across the continent prepare to legalize the consumption of marijuana, assuming they haven’t already, the methods of testing for drug-impaired driving haven’t advanced quite as rapidly as legislation.
While breathalyzers are a mainstay of the law enforcement toolkit, getting an accurate reading of just how impaired a drug-using driver really is isn’t an exact science — despite some claims to the contrary. Blood tests for THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, are often misleading. Actual impairment really comes down to the user, not the blood reading. A driver’s buzz could easily have worn off long before getting behind the wheel, despite the elevated presence of THC in their bloodstream.
Apparently, demands for better testing is something the Colorado Department of Transportation hears at meeting after meeting.
North of the border, the entire country of Canada goes weed-legal this fall, and the likely method of detecting DUID (driving under the influence of drugs) is already coming under fire.
Impairment tests used by authorities in U.S. states where marijuana use is legal in some form have no basis in science, and their results essentially mean nothing, a recent study concludes.
Commissioned by the American Automobile Association’s safety foundation, the study found that no blood test for THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, can accurately determine a driver’s level of impairment, the Associated Press reports.
The finding blows law enforcement’s main method of convicting high drivers into the weeds.
I live in Colorado, where recreational cannabis has been legal since the beginning of 2014. The (allegedly) medical-only stuff had been available all over Denver, complete with sign-spinners on street corners, for years before that, and so nothing much changed when the Reefer Man was allowed to sell his wares to just about any adult. Sure, hundreds of doomed recreational dispensaries have joined the hundreds of doomed brewpubs and doomed tattoo shops fighting for the not-so-abundant dollars of the thin slice of the Denver population interested in shatter hash, yeast-sludge-filled draft beer, and/or blotchy tattoos of the Chinese characters for “poop”… and I’ve started seeing bags of weed in junkyard cars here.
Prior to legalization, no self-respecting tow-truck driver or junkyard employee would have allowed free pot to slip by, but nowadays a few grams of mystery doobage is about as appealing to those guys as a half-empty 40-dog of King Cobra found in the trunk.
Here’s a Suzuki Swift that I found in a Denver yard with such a bag that I spotted tied to the gas spring on the hatch.
Latest Car ReviewsRead more
Latest Product ReviewsRead more
- Kcflyer Gummed up intake valves in under 60,000 miles. Pass.
- SCE to AUX By the time they're done thinking about it, others will beat them to market by 5 years.Nissan has been thinking about water cooling its EV batteries for a decade, and now that the Ariya has it, they've only now begun to ship it.By the way, "lightweight pickup" will be an oxymoron if it's electric. It won't be 3 -5 tons, but it will easily be 2 if it's to have 250+ miles' range.
- Mark This is what it cost to drive a Tesla Model S Plaid for 11k+ miles in one year. You would pay more to drive a Yaris that far, never the less a performance car on the Plaid level. I don’t know where they got their math, but mine is actual real world results. We live in a cold climate and have removed our wheel covers, both of which hurt range, so your mileage may vary.
- Jack Bummer, his successor sounds like just another electric car shill :(
- IH_Fever Nissan should call for a real pickup before they call for electrification...