ESCONDIDO - Legalized marijuana has created a new problem from law enforcement and prosecutors. There are no fast ways to quickly detect if a driver is “too high” or what a safe marijuana level would be for a driver.
“The biggest problem right now is that with the legalization of marijuana, everyone thinks it’s okay to smoke marijuana and then drive a car,” San Diego County Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Guerrero said.
Driving under the influence of alcohol is measured against a 0.08 blood alcohol content. There is no standard for driving while under the influence of marijuana use yet.
“Does that level of marijuana prove that impaired? We have that for alcohol. We don’t have that for marijuana,” Deputy Guerrero said.
The 2013-2014 National Roadside Survey of Alcohol and Drug Use by Drivers found that drugged driving is at an all-time high.
Friday, the Alcohol Policy Panel of San Diego County met in Escondido to discuss the marijuana issues facing law enforcement and prosecutors. One of those issues is the technology needed to quickly test someone’s marijuana-use levels.
“There is a roadside test they’re working on, which is a saliva-based test but there’s a whole bunch of problems associated with that,” Guerrero said.
Guerrero said legalization of marijuana has given researchers an easier ability to study marijuana’s impact on drivers in simulators.