Georgia lawmakers are taking preliminary steps to legalize marijuana for medicinal use. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, General Assembly leaders appointed members to make recommendations on the issue of medicinal marijuana. This action took place after House Bill 885 failed to pass in the last legislative session. The bill would have permitted families in Georgia to use cannabis oil to treat seizure disorders and would have provided immunity from prosecution to those in possession of the oil.
A report on medical marijuana legalization is expected by the end of the year, and could move Georgia closer to becoming one of many states that is relaxing the rules on marijuana use. Unfortunately, as states move forward towards making marijuana more accessible, the issue of stoned driving will become even more pressing. Stoned driving is dangerous, and victims of collisions with impaired drivers should consult with an Atlanta car accident lawyer for help pursuing a claim for monetary compensation.
Stoned Driving Can Put Atlanta Drivers at Risk of Collisions
The New York Times took a close look at stoned driving earlier this year, indicating that around six percent of drivers tested positive for marijuana when stopped randomly on American highways in 2007. There are likely more stoned drivers on the roads now that the rules for marijuana use have been relaxed. In fact, the Denver Post reported that more drivers in Colorado are testing positive for marijuana after fatal collisions now that recreational marijuana has become legal in the state.
Marijuana can affect a person’s ability to drive, and a motorist who has any measurable amount of THC in the blood stream has twice the risk of becoming involved in a collision as compared with someone who has not used cannabis products. People who have used marijuana are less able to multitask when stoned and they require more of their brain power to do simple tasks than people who are sober.
Unfortunately, although it is clear that a stoned driver is a danger on the roads, it is less clear how to effectively regulate the practice of driving under the influence of marijuana. The ABA Journal recently published an article about the challenges of regulating stoned driving, calling the determination of driver impairment an “imperfect science.”
Both Colorado and Washington state have set limits on the amount of THC in a person’s blood in order to keep stoned drivers off the roads. However, scientists have not established a direct link between THC and a level of driving impairment. Furthermore, a person is most impaired by cannabis 30 minutes after taking the drug, but has the highest levels of THC 10 minutes after smoking marijuana.
The difficulty in regulating stoned driving should be carefully considered by Georgia lawmakers as they decide whether to move forward with medical marijuana. People on the roads deserve to be safe, and victims of stoned driving collisions should consult with an Atlanta car accident lawyer for help.
The Atlanta car accident lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent you after an injury in a stoned driving crash. Call today at 404-991-5950 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.