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No Spike in Drivers High on Pot, Reports State Toxicologist

Posted by Aaron J. Wolff | Feb 14, 2013 | 0 Comments

The concern voiced by some groups against Initiative 502 was that the new THC limit for driving while under the influence of marijuana would unfairly affect medicinal marijuana users.

But one month into the new law, a study suggests that medical marijuana users have not been unduly affected.

Initiative 502 legalized recreational marijuana use. As part of the new law drivers who have a THC level above five nanograms were deemed to be under the influence. Medical marijuana users complained that because they were heavy users of pot, they were more likely to test above this amount and get arrested for a DUI.

However, so far that has not been the case. During a legislative hearing in Olympia, a state toxicologist said that there has been no spike in blood tests registering above the legal limit, reports Seattle Weekly.

The toxicologist says that the state has tested all blood samples taken from drivers in December -- the first month the marijuana laws were effective -- and has not noticed any increase.

Even before the law was effective, the toxicologist noted that every year about one-sixths of blood samples came back positive for THC with an average result being six nanograms.

Should medicinal marijuana users puff a sigh of relief? It may be too early yet. The state has so far only tested one month's worth of blood samples and it is not enough to draw any overarching conclusions. It may take months, if not years, to see the effect that Initiative 502 has had on Washington DUIs.

If you have any questions about a drugged driving charge in the Seattle or King County areas, schedule a free consultation with an attorney at Wolff Criminal Defense by calling 425-284-2000. Our attorneys have years of experience representing the rights of those accused of driving under the influence. Don't fight your fight alone!

About the Author

Aaron J. Wolff

A former DUI prosecutor, Aaron Wolff has over 16 years of experience in representing people accused of DUI and is recognized as one of the leading defense lawyers in Washington State. His relentless and passionate advocacy has lead to superb ratings and outstanding reviews from former clients.

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