In the USA, the legalization of marijuana has recently been rumored in the media. People recognize the tremendous potential of CBD to relieve pain and nausea, reduce epileptic seizures, and help treat many different diseases. With the growing interest in cannabis, a topic that gets more attention will be the legality of driving under its influence. To be clear, in USA driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, including cannabis, is illegal. Lawmakers trying to create laws to deal with them face a number of challenges, some of which are:
- Studies are unclear how marijuana use affects car driving
- The detection of THC levels in urine is simple but can be detected for weeks, which does not stop on the way
- Blood tests are more accurate, but they are expensive and are not suitable for use on the road
- The salivary detection methods on the road are very promising, but they are still being tested
Another challenge is posed by cannabis users themselves, who may not see the risk of using the drug. About half of Canadians who use marijuana say that it does not affect their ability to drive, and they believe it can make them a better driver. Researchers in this field have found obvious reasons why drivers should not drive after participation. Studies have shown that after using marijuana, more brain is needed to perform simple tasks. This results in slower response times, a lack of ability to perform various tasks (very important to a driver) and decreased peripheral vision. In short, during CBD use, the driver’s ability to respond to shocking events on the road is severely compromised. Some estimates show that driving under the influence increases your accident risk up to 300%.
Statistics support the survey. Driving under the influence kills and injures more USA citizens than any other crime, and marijuana is only surpassed by alcohol as the most used drug in impaired car accidents.
What is a Reasonable Limit?
While Canada has no poisoning limit, some US states that legalize marijuana have limits, but they vary from state to state. Some argue that the limits imposed by the state are arbitrary and are not a real indicator of deterioration. A recent study has found that the concentration of CBD in the blood is not a reliable indicator of deterioration. The study found out:
- Drivers under the influence of CBD have done poorly in the walking and turning tests, standing tests on one leg and fingers on the nose in tests
- CBD taking drivers did not perform worse than a function of blood THC levels (except for the finger-to-nose test)
- There were minimal differences between those with THC concentrations above or below the 5 nanogram limit, which was often established in other countries
The study’s summary showed that varying amounts of THC affect people in different ways, meaning that a driver with very little THC in their blood could be more affected than a driver with more THC in their blood. This makes it very difficult at the moment to detect a reliable number of degradations. To remedy this, some states have adopted a zero-tolerance approach to driving under the influence of marijuana.
The Future of Road Testing
In the USA, the local police are currently testing the deterioration of the alcohol and cannabis routes. These tests determine sobriety and whether a more detailed test is required or not. Looking to the future, three new saliva-based roadside devices are being tested in Canada. Additional evidence, as well as changes in legislation, are needed before these devices can be used as evidence in court, but in the meantime, they help law enforcement determine if a suspect needs further testing. Proponents expect these test equipment to provide them with the information they need to keep drivers out of the way they are already doing in Europe and Australia.
The public perception of CBD changes is true, as are the laws regarding their use. While these changes are likely to be very beneficial to many Americans, there is a change that we can jointly accept to ensure that life is not endangered: do not drive under the influence of CBD. There are too many variables to say for sure that one person can drive safely while another is not sure to take a risk that could endanger his life. Driving with a disability is always more dangerous than driving sober, and we all have a responsibility to ensure that while we wait for the law to change, we make sure friends and family do not feel behind the wheel.