Here’s How Maine Police Determine if Someone is Driving High on Marijuana
As the use of recreational marijuana becomes legalized across more of the United States each year, it presents not just an economic benefit to the states, but also a problem for local law enforcement.
It's a question that we have heard people ask hundreds of times over the years. Exactly how do officers determine if someone they have pulled over is operating a vehicle while under the influence of marijuana?
Unfortunately, at least for now, it's not quite as cut and dry as enforcing alcohol limits. We all know that nationally the blood alcohol limit is .08 and it has been for years. Is there also an agreed upon 'level' of cannabis intoxication to be able to operate a vehicle. The short answer is no.
According to a recent article in the Kennebec Journal, reporters caught up with York County Sheriff, William L. King Jr. The discussion comes after a recent incident where multiple State Troopers were struck by a driver that was allegedly operating while high.
King Jr told reporters that they currently only have two options for determining if someone is operating high on pot. The first one is by having a specially trained officer respond to the traffic stop to do an evaluation. Certain officers are trained as Drug Recognition Experts and have the ability to make the determination with some basic roadside tests and evaluations.
The other method police can use is a basic blood test. The only issue with that is that the jury is still out on what the 'legal limit' should be set to. Additionally, it's not a super-accurate way to tell exactly how recently they indulged in the Devil's Lettuce.
King Jr says that he would like Maine police department's to take a page out of Colorado's playbook. Colorado reportedly has an ongoing dialogue with its residents about the dangers and possible consequences of driving high.
The Kennebec Journal reported in part,
"According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a total of 12.8 million Americans reported driving while under the influence of marijuana or other illicit drugs in 2018."
The moral of the story, be safe. Don't drive under the influence of any substances, legal or otherwise.