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How has marijuana legalization impacted impaired driving?

On Behalf of | May 6, 2022 | Marijuana Crimes

Driving under the influence does not only include alcohol. You can also be guilty of this crime if you have marijuana in your system.

However, the American Bar Association explains the legalization of marijuana has led to some issues for law enforcement when trying to impose DUI laws.

The crime

Even if you use marijuana with permission to do so under the medical marijuana laws, you can still be guilty of driving under the influence. Marijuana can affect your perception and motor skills. It can make you more likely to get into an accident. It is illegal to drive while you are under the effects of this drug.

The issues

Unlike alcohol, marijuana has no instant tests an officer can do on the roadside to see if you are under the influence. In addition, marijuana can stay detectable in your system for a while after you use it, but that does not mean that you are still having effects from the drug. The complicated situation makes it very hard to combat drugged driving.

Because of the issues with detecting drivers under the influence of marijuana, the statistics are unclear. It is also more difficult to prosecute drugged driving, which means many drivers may go unpunished.

The result

Issues such as marijuana’s impact on road safety are one piece of evidence opponents to legalization often use. Anyone who wants to see the drug fully legalized should use it responsibly. Medical marijuana users who use and drive are only adding fuel to the fire to keep the drug illegal for other uses. Plus, they put themselves and others at risk for accidents.