New report says Michigan shouldn't set driving limit for marijuana

Pixabay / MGN
Pixabay / MGN(KALB)
Published: Mar. 26, 2019 at 3:01 AM EDT
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Now that recreational marijuana is legal in Michigan, state officials are working on how to regulate driving under the influence of marijuana.

says Michigan should not set a legal driving limit for THC in the blood. THC is the main chemical responsible for giving people the feeling of getting high.

The .08 Blood Alcohol Content level being used for the legal limit of drunk driving but right now there’s no legal limit for THC.

Set up under former Governor Rick Snyder, an Impaired Driving Safety Commission made up of six panel members, says there should not be a legal limit for THC.

The commission is made up of a Michigan State Police representative, a forensic toxicologist, a licensed physician, a registered medical marijuana patient and two university professors.

Because there is no measurable blood level at which a driver is deemed to be ‘under the influence of marijuana,’ police in Michigan will have to prove a driver is impaired the old fashioned way.

"The old days of alcohol before we had a breath test, you just had to base your case on the driving, field sobrieties, all of the facts and circumstances that witnesses could see at that point and time," Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker said in an interview.

According to the Impaired Driving Safety Commission, current science does not support setting a legal limit. Studies show that, while marijuana use does impair critical driving skills, the blood level does not correlate with impairment.

Peak THC levels drop quickly, but impairment happens more slowly and peaks later.

The commission also states impairment levels also vary by driver. Someone who doesn’t use pot is often impaired at a level that would not have the same effect on the driving ability of someone who is a frequent marijuana user.

According to the commission’s report, of the 33 states that have legalized recreational and medical marijuana, only six have adopted impaired driving thresholds.

Those states include: