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Federal Government Finally Testing Marijuana's Impact on Driving

Posted by Kevin Trombold DUI Defense Attorney | Jul 30, 2014 | 1 Comment

Are There Roadside Tests for Marijuana DUI?
There's a general consensus now that the U.S. "war" on marijuana has been lost. This idea has been bolstered by statements made by the federal government vowing to take a hands-off approach toward states' efforts to legalize medical or recreational marijuana. Even so, no one expected Uncle Sam to start growing his own pot.

That's what is happening at the University of Mississippi, which is home to a garden of marijuana plants which is being (strictly, we hope) monitored the by the federal government. The sole purpose of this pot is for use in federally-funded research about the drug - something which has been sorely lacking in years past.

One innovative study was completed earlier this year at the University of Iowa. The campus is home to the National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS), which is used to replicate a myriad of driving situations. Recently, the National Institute on Drug Abuse oversaw a study which involved 19 volunteers ingesting varying amounts of both alcohol and marijuana. Then these individuals got "behind the wheel" of the simulator so researchers could gauge their ability to drive while blood and saliva tests were taken to measure the levels of intoxication and impairment.

Researchers are now compiling and interpreting the data and hope to reveal their findings in October. It's hopeful that the results will yield more solid information on how marijuana affects the body and all aspects of operating a motor vehicle.

Washington lawmakers designated a minimum level of 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood equivalent as a legal standard for driving under the influence of marijuana. Some pot advocates say that the level is arbitrary and/or too strict. Perhaps Washington and other states will use the results of this federally-funded research to get a better understanding on where the "line of impairment" should be drawn.

About the Author

Kevin Trombold DUI Defense Attorney

Highly rated by former clients, who praise his warm, knowledgeable courtside manner and his fierce determination to reduce or eliminate charges. An accomplished speaker, author, and leader in DUI defense statewide Kevin is well respected by judges, prosecutors, and other attorneys across the State of Washington for his expertise, integrity, and knowledge in the complicated forensic science area of impaired driving allegations.


md Reply

Posted Jul 30, 2014 at 08:03:55

A bit off topic, but what do you think about paying taxes and the federal state dichotomy? Hypothetically, Mr. Owner runs a dispensary in CO, being the diligent and patriotic man that he is, would paying his tax burden to the federal government on the proceeds of his business akin to confession, despite the legality of state law?

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