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Legalized marijuana and the car accident rate

On Behalf of | May 23, 2016 | Car Accidents |

Colorado became one of the first states to legalize marijuana for recreational use, but there were some stipulations. One of those was that people could not drive while high because they would be impaired. But what does that mean, and when does that impairment actually come into play?

That is the question that lawmakers and others have tried to answer, but not all of their answers have been successful. For example, Colorado has a THC limit in place which is used to determine whether a driver is impaired or not, but there are questions as to whether these limits actually make roadways safer for motorists.

THC limits and accuracy

The accuracy of that limit and how it is determined has been questioned right from the beginning, with the argument being that the state standards are arbitrary and that there is no “official” way to determine impairment. This is unlike DUI laws based on alcohol usage, where a specific limit is set and officers are provided with a device they can use to determine whether that limit is occurring or has been exceeded.

How THC affects the accident rate

One of the most serious issues with the measuring of THC is that it can affect different people in a different way. In other words, two people who smoke the same amount of marijuana may have very different amounts of THC in their blood. Additionally, one of those people may show impairment in functioning and the other one may not, even if they have the same THC amount in their bloodstream. This means that some drivers may not be officially under the influence, but, they may still be impaired enough to cause a serious motor vehicle accident.

People should always drive safely, and the laws regarding marijuana are only a part of that equation. However, without proper and accurate testing measures, whether a person is driving safely is suddenly made much harder to determine. For those who have been injured in an accident with a driver who had used marijuana, legal and financial compensation may be available. The large gray area surrounding marijuana issues, though, can make cases more difficult to settle and responsibility for the accident more difficult to determine. Having a knowledgeable attorney on your side can make the difference, and help you receive the compensation you deserve.



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