Legalized Pot Causes Problems for Police in Colorado

This year, Colorado voters overwhelming approved a change to the state’s constitution that allowed someone buy and personal consumption of marijuana for recreational use. Sales commenced in 2014. After that, the state has issued more than 2, 900 weed business licenses, 481 that went to retail dispensaries. Therefore, as one mass media outlet talked about, Colorado has more pot dispensaries than Starbucks, McDonald’s, and 7-Eleven locations combined.

But even though it’s legal to consume, it remains unlawful to drive while under the influence of cannabis. Tragically, far too many drivers is very much ignoring that and are putting lives in danger by smoking and driving. If you might have been injured in a car accident because of an impaired driver, an injury lawyer can help.

Fatal Accidents on the Rise

According to examination by The Denver Content, the number of motorists involved in fatal car accidents who then analyzed positive for marijuana has jumped annually since legalization. Higher levels of the drug are also showing up in drivers who examined positive. This past year, in one extreme example, one rider tested at 22 times the legal limit for marijuana.

From 2013-16, Co experienced a 40 per cent spike in the quantity of traffic fatalities overall, hitting 880 last year, according to numbers from the Domestic Highway Traffic Safety Operations. The data also uncovers that alcohol-related fatalities have been on the climb, climbing 17 percent. The number of drivers who tested positive for cannabis, yet , jumped almost a hundred and fifty percent, and now make up 10 per cent of all fatal car incidents.

While officials are quick to indicate that this dramatic increase in marijuana-related traffic deaths can’t be tied conclusively to legalization, the numbers are troubling.

“Unlike alcohol, THC [the active ingredient in marijuana] can stay detectable in the bloodstream stream for days or weeks, when any incapacity wears off in a matter of hours, inches Taylor West, former mouthpiece director of the Country wide Cannabis Industry Association, informed The Denver Post. “So all those numbers really show is that, since legal adult-use sales began, a larger number of individuals are eating cannabis and then, at some point… driving a car. inch

Testing is a Problem

That’s the condition facing state and local governments. Cannabis use is skyrocketing, but law observance officials are still needy for a way to definitively test drivers. There is no marijuana breathalyzer or blood test that law enforcement officials can use to test drivers. You will discover tests that check for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, but there is not an universally accepted standard that indicates who is actually impaired, despite the frantic efforts of scientists to establish one.

Colorado uses a THC blood test that law enforcement are able to use to reveal precisely referred to as “presumed” impairment. Permissible inference is defined at five nanograms of THC per milliliter. Liquor breaks down quickly in the body, which makes it easy to test for. THC, on the other palm, can linger much a bit longer in the body. On fact, heavy users who then avoid marijuana can still test positive a month or more later.

At least two private companies are researching inhale detection devices, but experts estimate they’re months or years away from impressive the market. As a result, Colorado has started out training its officers about what to look for during traffic stops when deciding whether a new driver is impaired.