Arbitrary Marijuana Limits Leave Drivers High and Dry
Published on 8/4/16
The issue of people driving high has come up more as states discuss marijuana laws, but some state's current solution could cause innocent sober drivers to be prosecuted for a DUI. Many state's have adopted the legal limit of 5 nanograms of THC in the blood stream for drivers, however according to Dr. Barry Logan, who authored a study by AAA on impaired driving, the 5 nanogram limit of THC has no scientific correlation with impairment. Due to THC's ability to linger in the human body, someone who tokes daily will naturally have a high amount of THC in the blood stream, even if they're not high or impaired. On the other hand, someone who rarely uses cannabis could smoke before driving, causing them to be impaired while remaining under the 5 nanogram limit. THC content and blood alcohol content are being treated the same way when they effect the person very differently. There will continue to be unjust incarcerations for tokers until a more efficient form of testing impairment is implemented.
Researchers examined toxicology reports and sobriety exams from more than 600 drivers who had been arrested on suspicion of marijuana impairment. Results showed that increasing the amount of THC does not necessarily heighten its effects. Furthermore, chronic marijuana users may test positive for THC long after use despite no longer being impaired, while other people may show legal amounts of THC even when their driving indicates they’re a danger.
This is a concern when you consider how many reckless drivers might go free despite hitting the roads high as a kite. According to the AAA report, roughly 70% of arrestees who were stopped due to driving that suggested impairment registered THC levels under 5 ng/ml once tested.