This November 2 states voted to make the recreational use of Marijuana legal. Colorado and Washington State voters cast their ballots on November 2, 2012 permitting legal Marijuana use by their citizens. Governor Hikenlooper was not in favor of the measure, but did not have any veto power to stop it. According to a story by Fox News he approved the measure by executive order on December 10 because he believed he should not overrule the wishes of the people.
State Marijuana Laws At Odds With Federal Drug Laws
Both Colorado and Washington still need to work out Marijuana use regulations which will be written next year. Adults over the age of 21 will be allowed to have up to an ounce of Marijuana or six plants but the public use and sale of it is still illegal. Although these two states are allowing the recreational use of Marijuana, they are at odds with Federal law which prohibits Marijuana possession and use.
There has been a lot of speculation on what the outcome will be if Colorado and Washington continue to allow pot use while the Federal government outlaws it. This has also brought up a lot of debate on how Marijuana affects driving. Even though recreational pot use will be allowed, it is still a crime to use drugs and/or alcohol and drive and this includes marijuana. The states are going to have to figure out how they are going to regulate the amount of pot in a person that will cause impairment that is comparable to the amount of alcohol that constitutes driving impaired.
Some proponents for safe driving believe that even people who smoke regular cigarettes should not be allowed to smoke and drive because it is just another distraction on the same level as electronic devices like cell phones. Add Marijuana to the mix and they believe distracted driving accidents may increase dramatically.
Determining Marijuana Impairment While Driving Might be Hard to Prove
Police have years of experience with drunk drivers and they are aided by being able to administer a breathalyzer test to determine the amount of alcohol in a person's bloodstream. With marijuana there is no easy way to determine how much of the mood altering drug is in their system and no regulations as of yet which sets an amount as being over-the-limit. In addition, one blood test for marijuana checks for the presence of the chemical THC. This chemical in marijuana gets stored in a persons body fat for weeks after use and would indicate that a person had used marijuana, but not when such as just before driving.