Amid weed wars, stoned-driving laws still half-baked

San Francisco Chronicle
By Peter Fimrite

There are certain telltale signs that a person is stoned: bloodshot eyes, forgetfulness, ravenous late-night cravings.

But the November ballot measure that would legalize recreational pot in California says nothing about how police should detect tokers who climb behind the wheel. There’s no marijuana equivalent to the famed blood-alcohol content tests — taken by breath, blood or urine — that have planted .08 into the American consciousness.

It’s not a pressing concern for marijuana advocates, even as entrepreneurs try to develop a better sobriety test for dope smokers. But it’s a big quandary for California law enforcement officers, who are facing a question that has vexed several other states where recreational pot is legal.

California law bars driving under the influence of psychoactive substances, including weed. But with no definitive measurement for intoxication, arrests are often challenged, with officers relying on evidence like indecisiveness behind the wheel or a pungent car interior.

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LG Newsom reveals his wife is “scared as hell” about non-medical marijuana legalization

The Los Angeles Times and Sacramento Bee reported that at the Cannabis Business Summit and Expo yesterday Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, a 2018 Democratic candidate for Governor, revealed that his wife is “scared as hell” about his ballot measure to commercialize non-medical marijuana.

Jennifer Siebel Newsom is concerned for good reason. Californians know from the experience with Washington state’s law that DUI deaths related to people driving under the influence of marijuana has doubled according to a report recently published by the AAA Foundation for Highway Safety.

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California Association of Highway Patrolmen Announce Opposition to Marijuana Sales Ballot Measure

Sacramento, CA – The California Association of Highway Patrolmen is adding the voice of their 14,500 members against the proposed “Adult Use of Marijuana” intitiative which legalizes recreational sales and businesses.

California Association of Highway Patrolmen president Doug Villars noted in their opposition, “We strongly oppose the new ‘Adult Use of Marijuana Act’ and will urge California voters to do the same. This proposed measure will result in no cost savings to the highway patrol, and in fact adds costs due to increased marijuana DUI-related accidents and fatalities as experienced by other states. This initiative also allows passengers in a vehicle to smoke marijuana, resulting in second-hand smoke intoxication of the driver. We believe this, combined with a number of other provisions in the initiative, will make California’s highways and roads more dangerous.”

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