New Jersey has recently allowed the use of medical marijuana within the state, and the program has faced several problems. As the initial hurdles are cleared, there will be long-term effects that may need to be addressed.
One of the major issues plaguing legislatures across the country concerns the increase in motorists that are operating under the influence of drugs. As the number of these impaired drivers increases, the potential exists for more motor vehicle accidents to occur.
It has been especially difficult to set levels that determine when a motorist is impaired because of the use of drugs. Each drug has different effects, and long-term users may have more tolerance than others.
Many states are struggling setting strong levels of impairments for those who are driving under the influence of marijuana. A study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in connection with the National Institute on Drug Abuse will examine the effects of marijuana on motorists, specifically focusing on a driver’s ability to react when under the influence.
This study is especially important because of the increase in the number of states that currently allow medical marijuana. With more people being allowed to legally use the drug, there may be some motorists that do not understand the effect that the drug is having.
If a police officer determines that the motorist is impaired, he or she could be facing DUI charges. Taking these drivers off of the street will help, but officials want to increase awareness of the dangers of drugged driving. Any drug, whether it was prescribed or not, can lead to users having less control over their vehicles and more auto accidents.
Source: LaCrosseTribune.com “Study looks at driving under influence of pot” September 10, 2012.
For more information, please see the page on our website concerning motor vehicle accidents.