Medford city councilor opens marijuana dispensary
How Much Is Too Much Marijuana to Drive? Lawmakers Wonder
It’s relatively easy to determine when someone is too drunk to drive. If a driver’s blood-alcohol level is 0.08 percent or higher, that person is considered legally impaired. But a study says that measuring the effects of marijuana on drivers is far trickier, and that blood tests are an unreliable indication of impairment by cannabis.
As more states consider legalizing the substance, that presents a challenge to legislators seeking to create laws on driving while impaired by marijuana.
The study, commissioned by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, found that laws in six states that legally assess impairment by measuring how much THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) is in a person’s blood are not supported by science.
Cannabis at the Capitol: Marijuana industry leaders lobby Congress
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In Post-Legalization CO, Racist Marijuana Arrests Persist
Marijuana legalization in Colorado brought the arrest rate down overall, but racial disparity in weed arrests has continued, a new report from the Colorado Department of Public Safety found. A 46 percent decrease in marijuana arrests from 2012 to 2014 included a 51 percent decrease for whites, 33 percent decreases for Hispanics, and 25 percent decrease for African-Americans. The uneven distribution in the dip across demographics means that, in 2014, black people were arrested at three times the rate of white people.
For youth in Colorado, however, legalization has not allowed for a drop in arrests, but an increase especially concentrated among black kids. In the state, the annual number of youth marijuana arrests increased 5% from 2012 to 2014. A stark rise in the number of weed arrests among black (58% increase) and Hispanic (29 percent increase) youths drove the increase in the juvenile demographic. White kids, on the other hand, enjoyed an 8% decrease in marijuana arrests over the same period.
Tests for Driving While Impaired by Marijuana Have No Scientific Basis AAA Study Says
Six states that allow marijuana use have legal tests to determine driving while impaired by the drug that have no scientific basis, according to a study by the nation's largest automobile club that calls for scrapping those laws.
The study commissioned by AAA's safety foundation said it's not possible to set a blood-test threshold for THC, the chemical in marijuana that makes people high, that can reliably determine impairment. Yet the laws in five of the six states automatically presume a driver guilty if that person tests higher than the limit, and not guilty if it's lower.
As a result, drivers who are unsafe may be going free while others may be wrongly convicted, the foundation said.
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