Drug testing drivers for prescription marijuana
Wed, 25 Apr 2012 09:42:19 GMT —
Last week, the Michigan appeals court ruled the State's medical marijuana law doesn't shield people from prosecution if they are caught driving after using pot.
The decision is another significant ruling involving the 2008 law that allows marijuana use for medicinal purposes.
However, concerns have been raised over the State's ability to determine if someone is high at the time they are pulled over or if they had a preexisting amount of THC in there system.
Toxicology experts say, using a standard drug test, it is almost impossible to pinpoint exactly when someone last used marijuana.
"Marijuana is a very easy drug to test for, detection is not a problem. Very easy....There is really no way with confidence to put a timeline on usage. It is just so vastly different from person to person so we really see that as not an option with current technology," said Executive Director, Christopher Hindbaugh, Addiction Treatment Services.
Police tell 7&4 News the question of time of use is irrelevant.
Detectives argue that those who use medical marijuana and do not drive high will not be pulled over so long as they are not creating a dangerous environment out on the road.
"We don't go out patrolling looking for medical marijuana users and pull them over...there has to be some activity that leads to that traffic stop....driving at excess speeds, swerving, or if you are in an accident," said Capt. Brian Heffner, Traverse City Police Department.
In other words, patients will not have to take a drug test unless there is just cause. Police also point out medical marijuana rules are no different than any other controlled prescription drug.
"A lot of people think medical marijuana is the only drug other than alcohol you can be arrested for...and that is not the case...if your ability is impaired by medical marijuana, by prescription Vicodin, Oxycodone, or by alcohol...the officer is going to try to determine if the amounts you have in your body are sufficient to impair your ability to operate a car," Heffner said.
We want to hear from you on this issue.
What do you think about Michigan's medical marijuana law?Do you think there are changes that should be made to the law?What about how that affects drivers?Leave your comments below.