New marijuana legalization has been all the rave recently throughout much of the US and Canada. Everyone from health junkies to elderly grandmas to, of course, the local pot dealer has at least spoken a sentence that hinted at the issue. But of course, with new advances in legislation come new consequences: stoned driving.
Alright, let's face it: No matter what people say, when a person is stoned, a person is impaired. Though the effects are much different than alcohol, the fact holds true. However, how can authorities gauge when a person is stoned, impaired, and overall dangerous? Especially when that person is behind the wheel? Blood tests that have sufficed for alcohol levels won't work the same way with marijuana.
“The research is not there largely because we haven’t been able to do this kind of research on college campuses,” says Nicolas Lovrich, emeritus professor at Washington University. However, there may be hope for the issue, as Lovrich and his team have been working on formulating foolproof marijuana breathalyzers, a new route in business many startups are partaking in. Whether or not the devices help or not, or even if stoned driving becomes a real issue, only time can tell.
“There is almost no correlation, in fact, between marijuana in blood and actual impairment," says Mary Celeste, a Colorado judge who specializes in impaired driving, in a recent interview with the Verge. “There’s very little science backing these levels in terms of how that correlates with impairment,” adds Eric Sevigny, professor of criminal justice at Georgia State University. Like Celeste and Sevigny, many people share their sentiment for two reasons: First, because the drug itself is known to "mellow" one out and two, because the whole oncept hasn't been tested! But, oh, it will. Very, very, soon. And it won't be in a lab; it'll be in real life, in real time. Maybe even by you.