Several states in the US have legalized the recreational and medical use of cannabis. Many licenses have been issued to business people, which make cannabis readily available for users. Even with the legalization of cannabis, laws prohibit people from driving while under the influence of marijuana. However, many drivers are still ignorant, and this presents many risks to other road users. The ignorance presents many challenges to the police dealing with the offenders. The question that needs answers is why the laws are legalizing a drug for recreational purpose while making it criminal in people undertaking their daily activities such as driving. This article discusses the problems faced by the police as a result of laws surrounding the dangers of cannabis and driving.
The rise in fatal accidents
Since the legalization of cannabis was passed, there has been an increase in accidents caused by drivers who tested positive for marijuana. A higher level of TCH has also been reported on drivers who have been involved in road accidents. The rise in fatalities is disturbing, and many are attributing it to the legalization of cannabis use. The functions of the police have also been put on the spot since they are the ones who are supposed to implement the laws on the dangers of cannabis and driving However, the police are facing many problems in implementing the laws. The THC traces can be detected in blood on after use, while the impairment goes away within a few hours. This presents a challenge to the police on whether to base their sentenced on level of THC or on the impairment present at the time of accidents.
The problem of THC testing
Testing for THC levels in the blood is a challenge for both the state and local governments. Use of cannabis has increased, but the law enforcement agents on drug driving are still struggling to find a solution for THC blood tests. Currently, there is no blood test that police can use to check for THC levels on drivers on roads This can only be done in hospitals, which can take time before the warranty and transport to the hospital are done. This blood test might only show the THC concentration in blood but not necessarily the level of impairment.
The blood test, when delayed, might show a THC level lower than those who were present at the time of the crash. This is especially for occasional users, whose THC concentration may fall significantly after hours of use. There is much research on breath detection devises to ease the work of police, though it might take several years before they come to market. The training of police should be done, especially on what to look for before concluding on driver impairment.
There is a need to train and educate the police on enforcement of laws surrounding the dangers of cannabis and driving. This needs immediate attention in order to curb road carnages, which result from drugged driving.