Is Driving While Stoned The New Driving Drunk?
With medical marijuana already legal in 15 states in the U.S., the number of drivers killed in traffic accidents with THC in their bloodstream have increased 18% between 2005 and 2011 according to the Associated Press.
This unsettling statistic is causing more debate on how, as HDNET calls it, how DW-High should be handled legally and from a law enforcement point of view.
The issue at hand is that drunk drivers can be tested almost instantaneously via breathalyzer. However, no such test exists for pot. Only blood tests exist for gauging whether THC is in the system. The downside to this is, THC stays in the bloodstream much longer than alcohol–days after being ingested.
So, a blood test would not objectively measure whether a driver was actually legally “stoned” at the time they were pulled over.
The Associated Press put together a thoughtful piece on the subject which The Blaze.com entitled, “Is ‘Drugged Driving’ the New ‘Drunk Driving’? Fatal Accidents Up 18%.”