The recreational use of marijuana is now legal in California. Naturally, this has led to questions about whether people can use marijuana while driving. The answer is very complex. For alcohol, there is a legal limit of 0.08% blood-alcohol content, but there is no legal limit for marijuana or an accurate way to test for the drug in a timely manner. However, scientists in San Diego are working on a project that could help California lawmakers determine the legal limit for marijuana use.
The University of California, San Diego Center for Cannabis Research is conducting a study that hopes to establish when a person is too impaired by marijuana to drive. In this state-funded study, researchers are having participants smoke weed of different strengths and undergo a driving simulation. Researchers are putting marijuana users behind the simulated wheel right after they smoke and again hours later.
As a double-blind study, neither the researchers nor the participants know if a person is smoking marijuana with or without THC, the psychoactive compound that gets smokers high. Dr. Igor Grant and his research team are monitoring blood, saliva and breath levels and also having participants perform other cognitive tests outside of driving to help determine the point of impairment.
Will This Study Impact California DUI Marijuana Laws?
The point of the study is to find out at what point a person has consumed so much marijuana that they are no longer safe to drive. This is especially important as marijuana becomes much more accessible in 2018. With licenses to sell marijuana becoming available next year, an influx of stoned drivers is expected. DUI laws have not yet caught up with marijuana laws, but the results of this study could help establish a legal limit for marijuana use while driving.
Grant said previous research indicates that a moderate presence of marijuana in a person’s system does not greatly increase their chances of causing an auto accident. The goal of the study is to find out just how moderate that presence must be before it impacts a person’s ability to drive. Furthermore, determining a legal limit for marijuana can help researchers come up with new and more accurate ways for police to test for marijuana impairment while on the field.
Contact the DUI Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich
If you or a loved one has been charged with driving under the influence of marijuana, alcohol or any kind of drug, you should contact an experienced DUI defense lawyer immediately. At Wallin & Klarich, our skilled criminal defense attorneys have over 35 years of experienced defending our clients facing DUI charges. Let us help you now.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, Los Angeles, West Covina, Torrance and San Diego, you can find an experienced Wallin & Klarich DUI attorney available to help you no matter where you work or live.
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