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Marijuana Taking The Wheel

Now that possessing and smoking marijuana is legal in two states and medical marijuana legislation has passed in 17 others (plus D.C.), public concern is shifting to how we monitor use when it directly affects the safety of other citizens. Namely: on the road.

CNN submitted the following segment on marijuana users and their driving abilities once they had smoked.

In Mother Jones' excellent expose How High Is Too High to Drive?, reporter Josh Harkinson writes, "Cops lack anything like a Breathalyzer for THC, and studies have shown that the field sobriety test widely used by police departments correctly fingers stoned drivers only about 30 to 50 percent of the time; drunks are detected 80 percent of the time."

Law enforcement officials are scrambling to create tougher protocols for catching impaired drivers under the influence of marijuana. Many states have a zero-tolerance policy and have made it illegal to operate a vehicle with any amount of pot in one's system. Some are advocating for roadside blood tests. But because THC can stay in the blood for as long as a week after one smokes marijuana, pro-legalization advocates fear that blood tests will be misleading. They believe the focus should be on improving methods to determine which drivers are impaired.

What do you think?



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