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Why is this so hard?

December 11, 2013
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So many people act terrified of the notion of some apparently inevitable epidemic of stoned drivers on the road and that we’ll be unable to do anything about it unless we pass zero tolerance per se laws for any amount of metabolites in your system (that’s the ONDCP position).

And yet, as least this Washington State Patrol trooper seems to have figured out how to strictly police the roads without focusing on per se laws.

Hicks said before troopers ask for a blood test, they look at the totality of the circumstances including why they stopped someone, what they saw, heard and smell. Troopers also administer a field sobriety test just like they do with a suspected drunk driver. The test includes a test to see if a driver’s eyes will cross as they move a penlight closer to their nose. If they don’t cross, that could be a symptom of being high on marijuana. After all that, they make a decision on whether a motorist is impaired.

“You may smoke marijuana every day and your tolerance level and what you can function at may be above 5 nanograms,” Hicks said. “If I get you and I run you through everything that we normally do and I don`t see the impairment, then it`s irrelevant to me how much THC is in your blood. You could have 20 nanograms. I have no legal reason to arrest you.’”

So what’s the deal, ONDCP? Do you officially think that all police are incompetent? That they’re unable to perform this simple process of evaluating impairment?

Or will you admit that the policies you’re promoting have nothing to do with road safety or science and are just a back door way to punish marijuana users?

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Pete Guither is the editor of drugwarrant.com

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