How High Is Too High to Drive?

How High Is Too High to Drive?

An interesting news article from the Bellingham Herald discusses how high is too high to drive after smoking marijuana.

As usual, the answers to this question were widespread:

“Pretty damned stoned is not as dangerous as drunk,” said Mark Kleiman, professor of public policy at the University of California, Los Angeles, who served as Washington state’s top pot consultant. He said Washington state has a law that’s far too strict and could lead to convictions of sober drivers, with many not even knowing whether they’re abiding by the law.

Washington state and Colorado, the only two states to fully legalize marijuana, have set a limit of five nanograms of active THC per milliliter of blood. In Washington state, legalization proponents included the language in the ballot initiative approved by voters in 2012.

While police can use breathalyzers to easily measure the amount of alcohol in one’s bloodstream, the best way to determine marijuana intoxication is by examining a blood sample. Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court complicated the situation for states by ruling that police must get a warrant before testing blood for a DUI.

As the debate heats up, both sides can point to competing research.

In February, researchers from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health reported that fatal crashes involving marijuana use had tripled over the past decade, with one of every nine drivers now involved in a deadly accident testing positive for pot.

My opinion? The bad news is at the moment we don’t have have anything sensible to do about stoned driving. The good news is that it’s only a moderate-sized problem. I, for one, have not seen a dramatic increase in marijuana DUI’s and/or drug DUI’s. It simply hasn’t been an issue.  The best solution, it seems, is to wait for the science to improve.

Please contact my office if you, a friend or family member are charged with DUI or any other crime. Hiring an effective and competent defense attorney is the first and best step toward justice.