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Police say it’s harder to test drivers for THC, mind-altering component of marijuana

police car parked behind car
Wikimedia Commons
Ingham county sheriff Scott Wriggelsworth says that once recreational marijuana becomes legal in Michigan it will be difficult to determine whether a driver is intoxicated with THC, the mind-altering component in marijuana.

Recreational marijuana will soon be legal in Michigan, but driving while on drugs is still illegal.

Current law allows for a driver who tests for any amount of THC – the mind-altering component in marijuana – to be penalized in the same way drunk drivers are. When drunk drivers get pulled over, there’s a legal blood alcohol limit on the books and an on-the-spot test.

Ingham county sheriff Scott Wriggelsworth says for marijuana, police must monitor behavior and then get a blood test. He says some police are trained specifically to look for drug impairment, but the limited number will be busy.

“It’s going to be increasingly more difficult for us to determine whether someone is intoxicated with THC or not,” he said.

Governor Rick Snyder’s Impaired Driving Safety Commission was formed to determine how much THC might impact safe driving. The commission has until March to submit its findings.

Colorado has a legal definition of how much THC would make a driver impaired. Wriggelsworth says if Michigan adopted a similar measure it would help clear things up.

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