Advocates for legalizing marijuana in California seem to be gaining supporters, and state voters are likely to see an initiative to change the state’s current ban on the November ballot. If the measure passes, police officers in California are going to have to find a better way to determine whether a driver is guilty of DUI in Los Angeles.
Oregon passed laws permitting the recreational use of marijuana in 2015, the state only recently okayed the sale of marijuana edibles. Police in Salem, Oregon, stepped up their DUI patrols over the first weekend in June, when stores started selling marijuana brownies and other delicacies containing THC.
According to the Statesman Journal, the police department received funds for the extra patrols from Oregon Impact, which provides educational experiences to end impaired and distracted driving. The Salem police want people to understand the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol, THC, prescription drugs and other intoxicants. The department recommends that people wait at least 12 hours and preferably 24 hours to get behind the wheel after eating or smoking marijuana.
Salem police officers will conduct field sobriety tests if they suspect someone is DUI. Since blood alcohol tests won’t detect marijuana impairment, they may then bring in a drug expert to identify whether or not a person is marijuana impaired. They may also use blood tests and urine tests.
Although any type of impaired driving is illegal under California Vehicle Code 23152, police departments throughout the state are likely to step up the education of their own officers regarding marijuana impairment if voters pass an initiative legalizing pot use.
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