Would you trust the nation’s largest auto club if they told you that marijuana DUI laws have no basis in science and are largely total nonsense?
According to AAA (and really a lot of other groups and prominent figures), the standards that states with legal marijuana use to determine impairment have absolutely no connection to actual impairment status. Put plainly, a blood test for marijuana cannot tell you if a person is actually high.
Now, we understand why states create these laws. It’s just like the law for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) – the public wants to make sure that impaired drivers are off the road for safety reasons. By punishing drivers for getting behind the wheel with a certain amount of a substance in their body, it creates a deterrent effect for other drivers. That makes sense. But what doesn’t make sense are the arbitrary numbers that states use. Take Colorado, for example. The state says that driving with 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood constitutes impairment.
Firstly, THC stays in your body for a really long time relative to other drugs. While alcohol, prescription drugs and harder illicit substances like cocaine might leave your body in a matter of hours or days, THC can stay in you for weeks – especially for habitual users. And for those who use marijuana medicinally for regular pain relief, their blood THC levels could be enormous – but that does not mean they are impaired.
The 5 nanogram limit was just sort of thrown out there by politicians, and as a result, innocent people are being thrown in jail for DUI-D.
Fortunately, DUI-D charges are great cases to take to court, and often, these cases end with dismissal.