By Michael Komorn
July 2017 Marijuana Impaired Driving Report to Congress
The report summarizes what is known about marijuana use and driving.
The report describes the absorption, distribution and elimination of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinal (THC) the primary psychoactive substance in marijuana, in the body. It contrasts this process with the absorption, distribution and elimination of alcohol in the body, as they are very different processes.
The poor correlation of THC concentrations in the blood with impairment is discussed, along with the implication that setting per se levels is not meaningful.
Some of the challenges of measuring driving impairment resulting from marijuana use are reviewed. State laws relating to marijuana and driving are presented. What is known about the prevalence of marijuana-impaired driving and the crash risk associated with marijuana-impaired driving is reviewed.
Finally, the report presents information on training for law enforcement to detect marijuana impairment in drivers, the feasibility of developing an impairment standard for driving under the influence of marijuana and recommendations for increasing data collection regarding the prevalence and effects of marijuana-impaired driving.
Click here to read the report
Illinois -- Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner on Friday used his veto powers to rewrite a bill aimed at decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana, saying the measure that lawmakers sent him would let people carry too much pot and sets fines too low.
Rauner said while he supports the "fundamental purposes" of keeping people out of jail and cutting court costs, such a significant change in drug laws "must be made carefully and incrementally." Sponsors of the bill pushed back, saying the changes are "low-hanging fruit" when it comes to reforming the criminal justice system and contending the governor is working against his own goal of reducing the number of prison inmates.
Washington, D.C. -- Even as support for ending marijuana prohibition is building around the country, Congress and the Obama administration remain far too timid about the need for change.
Last year, residents in Alaska, Oregon and the District of Columbia voted to join Colorado and Washington State in making recreational use of marijuana legal. Later this year, residents of Ohio are expected to vote on a ballot measure that would legalize it. Nevadans will vote on a legalization proposal next year. And Californians could vote on several similar measures next year.
Congress Puts Stop to War on Medical Marijuana with Protections Amendment
Dec 15, 2014
On Saturday, Senate approved a $1.1 trillion spending package to keep the government running. Tucked away in that package was an amendment that will block the Department of Justice from arresting or prosecuting anyone who sells or uses medical marijuana in the 34 states that have some form of medical marijuana law on record.
This will stop the DOJ from conducting raids on medical marijuana dispensaries and stop them from arresting individuals involved in the medical marijuana industry who are complying with state law.
The new amendment also has protections for industrial hemp.
President Obama is expected to approve the bill. Once he does, the new amendment has the potential to impact a number of pending cases against medical marijuana business owners and patients who have been targeted by the federal government despite complying with local and state laws.
“When the House first passed this measure back in May, we made headlines; today we made history,” Rep. Sam Farr (D-Calif.), who in May introduced the medical marijuana protections amendment with co-sponsor Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), told The Huffington Post regarding the bill’s passage.
“The federal government will finally respect the decisions made by the majority of states that passed medical marijuana laws,” Farr added. “This is great day for common sense because now our federal dollars will be spent more wisely on prosecuting criminals and not sick patients.”
A statement issued by Americans for Safe Access following the spending bill’s passage Saturday called the measure “historic” and said patients’ rights advocates believe it “will dramatically impact DOJ enforcement, including ending federal medical marijuana raids, arrests, criminal prosecutions, and civil asset forfeiture lawsuits.”
USA -- If you're confused about what marijuana use really does to people who use it, you're not alone. For years, the scientific research on health effects of the drug have been all over the map.
Earlier this year, one study suggested that even casual marijuana use could cause changes to the brain. Another found that marijuana use was also associated with poor sperm quality, which could lead to infertility in men.