DUI: Marijuana Legalization Will Affect Public Safety Policies
The public safety infrastructure will be undergoing significant changes in the states of Washington and Colorado (expounded in Initiative 502 Amendment 64 respectively) due to the recent marijuana legalization bills and USA Today reports that law enforcement officials in both states are trying to discern how pot intoxicated drivers will be policed to ensure road safety. Since marijuana is a mind altering drug, driving under the influence (DUI) of a certain amount will certainly be considered being impaired behind the wheel. DUI charges include driving under the influence of any substance, if it intoxicates and impairs your judgement. This can include pharmaceutical drugs like oxycodone, Oxycontin, Xanax and Valium, to name a few of the more highly abused ones that significantly affect motor function. Washington state troopers are being trained to administer blood tests for excessive marijuana use. This is a point of contention and controversy, because even though marijuana legalization advocates don’t promote smoking and driving, there is not yet a quantifiable test for substantiated THC impairment. THC is the psychoactive chemical in pot.
Blood Tests For Marijuana DUI’s?
The report goes on to explain: “unlike portable breath tests for alcohol, there’s no easily available way to determine whether someone is impaired from recent pot use. There are different types of tests for marijuana. Many workplaces test for an inactive THC metabolite that can be stored in body fat and remain detectable weeks after use. But tests for current impairment measure for active THC in the blood, and those levels typically drop within hours.” Marijuana legalization raises a question of moral obligation and responsibility. With the increase of readily available and accepted mind-altering substances comes the responsibility to police consumption for individual safety. More laws may be put into place to constrain those who, even inadvertently, use new freedoms to place others in danger. In response to proponents who advocates the legality of pot, you have to take human decisions to their logical end.
Marijuana consumption opens up a door that makes it possible for a radical lifestyle change, where problems in life are confronted by applying substance therapy, much like pharmaceutical drugs are prescribed for maladies from social anxiety to pathological mood disorders that devolve into psychotic episodes. “Take this pill/joint/libation/powder to stop ‘x’ from occurring. Enhancing, facilitating or even constraining life experiences does not always make life better. Smoking marijuana for “medicinal purposes” may even veil the true intention to just get high. For all the proposed economic benefits (and this is speculation still) it is a frightening reality that more and more problems will occur with more and more mind-altering substances legalized; health benefits notwithstanding. More freedom comes with more responsibility and moral obligation to uphold such freedoms.