New wrinkle in pot debate: stoned driving


Locutus
#1
DENVER Angeline Chilton says she can't drive unless she smokes pot. The suburban Denver woman says she'd never get behind the wheel right after smoking, but she does use medical marijuana twice a day to ease tremors caused by multiple sclerosis that previously left her homebound.

"I don't drink and drive, and I don't smoke and drive," she said. "But my body is completely saturated with THC."

Her case underscores a problem that no one's sure how to solve: How do you tell if someone is too stoned to drive?

States that allow medical marijuana have grappled with determining impairment levels for years. And voters in Colorado and Washington state will decide this fall whether to legalize the drug for recreational use, bringing a new urgency to the issue.

A Denver marijuana advocate says officials are scrambling for limits in part because more drivers acknowledge using the drug.

"The explosion of medical marijuana patients has led to a lot of drivers sticking the (marijuana) card in law enforcement's face, saying, 'You can't do anything to me, I'm legal,'" said Sean McAllister, a lawyer who defends people charged with driving under the influence of marijuana.

It's not that simple. Driving while impaired by any drug is illegal in all states.

But it highlights the challenges law enforcement officers face using old tools to try to fix a new problem. Most convictions for drugged driving now are based on police observations, followed later by a blood test.

Authorities envision a legal threshold for pot that would be comparable to the blood-alcohol standard used to determine drunken driving.
But unlike alcohol, marijuana stays in the blood long after the high wears off a few hours after use, and there is no quick test to determine someone's level of impairment not that scientists haven't been working on it.

Dr. Marilyn Huestis of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a government research lab, says that soon there will be a saliva test to detect recent marijuana use.


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New wrinkle in pot debate: stoned driving *| ajc.com
 
L Gilbert
#2
Should be easy enough to tell right when they get pulled over f they are impaired or not. Roadside test:
1. Tell the stupidest joke you can think of. If they can't stop giggling, they are impaired.
2. Check vehicle. If it's loaded with chip bags and candy bar wrappers, they're impaired.
3. If they can't focus on anything in particular for more than a minute, they're impaired.
4. If their pupils are the size of saucers, they're impaired.
5. If they keep saying, "Wut?" in reply to your questions, they're impaired.
7. If they talk slowly, move slowly, smile too much, and have puffy eyes, they're impaired.
Just saying. lol
 
darkbeaver
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by L GilbertView Post

Should be easy enough to tell right when they get pulled over f they are impaired or not. Roadside test:
1. Tell the stupidest joke you can think of. If they can't stop giggling, they are impaired.
2. Check vehicle. If it's loaded with chip bags and candy bar wrappers, they're impaired.
3. If they can't focus on anything in particular for more than a minute, they're impaired.
4. If their pupils are the size of saucers, they're impaired.
5. If they keep saying, "Wut?" in reply to your questions, they're impaired.
7. If they talk slowly, move slowly, smile too much, and have puffy eyes, they're impaired.
Just saying. lol

This is right out of Cheech and Chong 1976 or thereabout. The sophisticated modern pot head like myself is virtually undetectable (without specialized equipment) even while performing surgery or driving the school bus.
 
L Gilbert
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by darkbeaverView Post

This is right out of Cheech and Chong 1976 or thereabout. The sophisticated modern pot head like myself is virtually undetectable (without specialized equipment) even while performing surgery or driving the school bus.

Not really. If it was 1979 the vehicle would be a van with flowers painted all over it. These days a pothead can be trying to drive anything; even the roller skates or the poor guy in the wheelchair.
Why would the cop be performing surgery or driving a school bus?
 
taxslave
#5
This is a problem with drug & alcohol testing for work. Alcohol is totally gone from the system in a few hours were as smoking a joint on friday night can cost you your job come monday morning.
 
lone wolf
#6
It's pretty much like any drug. You build tolerance - so if you're using it to get high, it takes a bigger bowl to get there. Whatever part it is that numbs pain seems to be the same though - about one toot....
 
petros
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by taxslaveView Post

This is a problem with drug & alcohol testing for work. Alcohol is totally gone from the system in a few hours were as smoking a joint on friday night can cost you your job come monday morning.

The medical place that does drug testing for my company says that there are swabs coming that only trace to 12 hrs back.
 
Locutus
#8
The bigger the grin the greater the sin?





The original:


 

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