Opinion: More info needed on marijuana’s impact on drivers
There is so much talk about the legalization of marijuana and the medical benefits, say nothing of the money to be made with the growing and selling of the herb, that there is one issue that I never hear discussed. One issue that would make me fearful of people who are taking the herb and driving. And that is: how much of the herb when ingested or smoked is acceptable for the person to be in full command of their senses on our highways.
As with alcohol, when someone is pulled over by the local law enforcement, a breath analyzer is administered to determine if the person is above or below a legal limit. A limit that has been established to insure that a person who has imbibed in alcohol is in full command of their senses and fully responsible for their actions. A measurement above the limit and the person is arrested for intoxication and presumably a menace to the public. My concern is that, as far as I know there is no limit for a person who is taking marijuana that is deemed acceptable for the person to be in full command of their senses and completely responsible for their actions.
If an accident occurred on the local highway and that accident was due to someone high on marijuana, what legal statutes are in place to point to that person as responsible for that accident? How would a local law enforcement person be able to prosecute the offender when there are no guidelines indicating that there is a limit on the amount of marijuana in their person’s blood or lungs? It seems to me that before any legalization of the herb is made that there should be some guidelines in place for the law enforcement limit. As it stands now, if someone is high on the herb and they cause and accident, there is nothing that the law enforcement people can do to prosecute them.
I can only imagine that if numerous people were taking the herb, and abusing it, then there would be numerous people on the highway not being in complete command of their senses and most likely causing numerous accidents with no way of being prosecuted. We should seriously think about this before we even consider any legalization of the herb.
Fort Myers, Fla.
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