Search the Community
Showing results for tags 'DUI'.
The search index is currently processing. Current results may not be complete.
Phoenix -- Authorities can't prosecute Arizona motorists for driving under the influence of marijuana unless the person is impaired at the time of the stop, the state Supreme Court ruled Tuesday in the latest opinion on an issue that several states have grappled with across the nation. The ruling overturned a state Court of Appeals decision last year that upheld the right of authorities to prosecute pot smokers for DUI even when there is no evidence of impairment. Read More...
Marijuana Breathalyzer Close to Reality "If You Are Going to Get High, You Better Not Drive," or some other public service slogan will surely be plastered on billboards all across America as soon as science figures out a way to stick it to the average citizen with the marijuana breathalyzer. Ever since legalized recreational marijuana was made a reality last year by voters in Colorado and Washington, the powers that be have been brainstorming new ways in which to prosecute the legal marijuana user. Obviously, driving stoned is high on the list of no-nos. In fact, a team of researchers recently published a document in the medical journal Clinical Chemistry that suggests a breath test -- similar to the testing procedures for alcohol intoxication -- may be the best way for law enforcement to analyze a motorist’s THC level. Researchers believe that the breath method of testing could eventually phase out the controversial THC-blood test currently being used to prosecute people in courtrooms all over the country. Researchers say that in a study group consisting of everyday stoners and weekend warrior-style occasional smokers, they were able to detect levels of THC, the principle psychoactive cannabinoid in marijuana that would be most likely to affect the way a person drives, by collecting breath samples. What they found was that while every breath sample collected tested positive for THC almost immediately following the participant getting high, the only group to maintain a positive test after four hours were the everyday stoners. Interestingly, while 90% of the part-time smokers tested positive for THC within an hour of smoking, none of them tested positive after about 90 minutes. This means that a marijuana breathalyzer manufactured under these principles would only be effective for somewhere between 30 minutes to two hours immediately following a person’s participation in an old-fashioned toke and choke ritual. So far, the outcome of the study holds some good news for the occasional smoker, but how would a law enforcement device that measures THC levels affect the die-hard smoker chiefing it up on the regular? In its current form, the advent of the marijuana breathalyzer could prove extremely bad for the regular cannabis connoisseur because those people have the potential to test positive for THC after a week of abstinence -- sometimes longer depending on the body fat of the individual. Technically, the user could be more to stone-sober than stoned and still be arrested for driving under the influence. Without a doubt, more research is needed in order to properly determine marijuana intoxication levels in this manner. “Breath may offer an alternative matrix for testing for recent driving under the influence of cannabis, but is limited to a short detection window,” researchers concluded in their study titled “Cannabinoids in Exhaled Breath following Controlled Administration of Smoked Cannabis.
More Research Is Needed Before Medical Marijuana DUI Laws Are Proposed And Passed All 50 states have laws that say driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs is a crime punishable by law. However, these laws become hazy when it comes to the use of medical marijuana and driving. Over the past couple of years, around 14 states have set laws for this issue, coming up with a threshold for deciding when a driver is too high to be driving. The decision was made that if a driver is caught with more than 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood, they are technically intoxicated and too high to be driving. Just like a regular DUI, the driver would then receive a fine, lose their license temporarily, face increased insurance fees, and possible jail time. This can all cause a driver fees up to $10,000. Some of these states are even adopting a zero tolerance law for driving under the influence of marijuana, which would result in an automatic conviction. The problem with these laws is how exactly the medical marijuana smoker decides when he or she is too intoxicated? How would you know when smoking, if you have consumed enough marijuana to have more than 5 nanograms of THC per millimeter of blood in your system? The answer is not as simple as waiting one hour to drive, after every drink you consume. All drivers know the guidelines for drinking alcohol and driving. But for marijuana, the guidelines remain hazy. Through toxicology, marijuana is detectable in tests of blood, hair, urine and saliva. But how quickly does the THC pass through one’s system? In smokers who don’t smoke regularly, the THC may remain in their system for several hours. However patients who smoke every day, the THC remains in their system for days. This means a heavy marijuana smoker may not smoke for days and be fully alert at the wheel, but will still have very high levels of THC in their blood. Tests have been conducted on drunk drivers versus drivers who are high, and the results are incredibly different. Whereas a drunk driver displays incredibly aggressive behavior behind the wheel, a driver who is high on marijuana has heightened awareness, and therefore tends to drive more cautiously. All of this information points clearly to the fact that more research needs to be conducted before DUI medical marijuana laws are proposed and passed. As it stands now, these laws are discriminatory against medical marijuana users. http://bigbudsmag.com/lifestyle/legal/article/more-research-needed-medical-marijuana-dui-laws-are-proposed-and-passed-july Trix