AAA calls for scrapping marijuana blood tests for motorists

May 10, 2016 6:28 PM by News Staff

Blood tests can clearly show if a person is too drunk to drive, but the same may not be true for tests to determine if a driver is too high.

Six states, Colorado, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Montana, Nevada and Washington, have set a legal threshold for how much marijuana can be detected in the blood before a person is considered too impaired to drive, but AAA says those blood tests are not based on sound science.

"It's completely arbitrary. There's no research study. There's no relationship," says AA Director of Traffic Safety Advocacy and Research Jake Nelson. "There's nothing to support setting a numerical concentration of cannabis in somebody's body that would allow us to predict that they are impaired."

Marijuana affects people in different ways and experts say some smokers with more evidence of pot in their system may be less impaired than others who've smoked very little.

AAA argues some drivers might be wrongfully convicted, while others may be going free when they're really unfit to drive.

"The debate isn't if it impairs, the debate that exists is to what extent?" Nelson explains. "How much do we consume, and how is that related to how impaired we are behind the wheel?"

AAA suggests police officers could be specially trained to determine a driver's impairment, with blood tests as a back-up.


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