This past Election Day, residents of four new states voted to legalize recreational marijuana. Those states are California, Nevada, Maine, and Massachusetts. They join Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and the District of Columbia. Many other states, like Florida, have legalized medical marijuana and some others have decriminalized marijuana use. Although marijuana is legal in these states in one way or another, state officials nationwide are preparing and some have already implemented how they will regulate THC for drivers.
In an eTags post highlighting comparisons between drunk and drugged drivers, they showed how states are treating what, for the most part, is a new pheromone. In many cases, they are treating it just like driving under the influence of alcohol, or they have regulations in place that are even stricter. For example, the state of Colorado allows motorists to have up to 5 ng/ml of THC in their blood. This is roughly the equivalent impairment to .08 BAC. However, keep in mind that marijuana does affect the body differently than alcohol, so you might be more or less affected by this much THC.
In other states and in Canada where countrywide legalization is being pursued, driving while under the influence is completely forbidden at any level. If a motorist is stopped and the officer believes he or she is under the influence of a substance, the motorist will first be asked to take a breathalyzer test. He or she will also be asked to do a field sobriety test to test coordination and memory. He or she may be asked to take a roadside drug test as well.
If the motorist is found to have any illegal substance in their system or is over the legal limit of an “approved” substance, he or she will be arrested and face penalties ranging from fines or even jail time if it is a multiple offense. Therefore, if you have drunk alcohol or ingested marijuana in any way, it’s best to call a cab or stay in for the night. The consequences and potential dangers to others are just not worth it.