SOURCE: CFN Media

CFN Media

May 01, 2017 09:30 ET

Marijuana & Driving: A Review of the Studies & Legal Challenges -- CFN Media

SEATTLE, WA--(Marketwired - May 1, 2017) - CFN Media Group, the leading creative agency and digital media network dedicated to legal cannabis, announces publication of an article discussing the studies for and against marijuana impaired driving, the current state laws regarding per se limits, the challenges for state regulators and law enforcement, and upcoming solutions like Cannabix Technologies' (OTC PINK: BLOZF) cannabis breathalyzer.

Does Marijuana Impair Driving?
Alcohol has been shown to significantly increase the risk of accidents, but evidence of marijuana's culpability in on-road driving accidents is less certain.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse cites several studies showing that marijuana use significantly impairs judgment, motor coordination, and reaction time with a direct relationship between blood THC concentration and impaired driving ability. On the other hand, industry advocacy groups like NORML cite studies showing that marijuana impairment doesn't appear to play a significant role in on-road traffic incidents.

The takeaway from these studies is that marijuana likely impairs driving ability compared to non-high drivers, but it's uncertain how much the impairment translates to crash risks. As a result, most experts believe that it's reasonable for state regulators and law enforcement agencies to exercise caution in the aftermath of recreational and medical marijuana legalization by setting limits on drivers until further studies are conducted.

What Are the Current State Laws?
The legalization of medical and recreational marijuana has created many challenges for state regulators and law enforcement officers. In general, most states have adopted so-called per se laws -- like the 0.08 BAC for alcohol -- to effectively prosecute high drivers. Law enforcement officers receive specialized training to recognize drug impairment, make an arrest based on suspicion, and then use a blood test used to measure intoxication.

Colorado and Washington
Colorado and Washington laws say that drivers with five nanograms of active THC in their whole blood can be prosecuted for driving under the influence. Officials in the states believe that the five-nanogram limit is equivalent to a blood alcohol level of 0.08. Washington law further states that anyone pulled over with more than five nanograms found in a blood draw by a medical professional is automatically subject to a DUI conviction.

Ohio and Nevada
Ohio and Nevada have stricter per se limits of two nanograms of THC per milliliter with law enforcement permitted to pull over anyone suspected of high driving.

Arizona, Illinois, and Pennsylvania
Arizona, Illinois, and Pennsylvania have zero-tolerance policies when it comes to driving under the influence of marijuana. In these states, drivers with any amount of THC at all in their blood may be prosecuted for driving under the influence.

Measurement & Other Legal Challenges
The problem with marijuana impaired driving is two-fold -- the drug is metabolized differently depending on the individual and there are no effective ways to measure THC impairment without making an arrest.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration notes that the blood concentration of THC in the bloodstream tends to spike immediately after smoking marijuana, but drops to a baseline level after three to five hours. But, THC is stored in the body's fat cells for much longer than a few hours, which could mean a positive hair or urine test without being 'high.' There's also anecdotal evidence that THC intoxication varies based on the frequency of use.

The second problem is that there are no roadside breathalyzer tests on the market for law enforcement to easily measure impairment. If a driver is suspected of impairment, they are arrested based on the suspicion and must be taken to a facility where a medical professional can draw blood to be tested. This process may violate a driver's rights given its invasiveness and involves a significant amount of time and energy for the law enforcement officer.

New Technologies on the Horizon
The good news is that there are new technologies on the horizon that could solve many of these problems by providing immediate feedback on impairment to law enforcement.

Cannabix Technologies Inc. is developing a THC breathalyzer technology that utilizes mass spectrometry for highly-accurate real-time detection of THC and its metabolic breakdown. Recently, the company announced that preliminary testing on human subjects showed that its Beta prototype is capable of detecting THC and other psychogenic cannabinoids in real-time after subjects smoked a THC cigarette.

The company plans to further test its Beta and Beta 2.0 prototypes to calibrate decay signal intensities with a refined breath collection component. The goal is to enable the breakthrough device to zero in on impairment with 'recency of use' like no other device on the market. And, as a first mover in the space, the company could rapidly build market share in the United States, Canada, and around the world as a leading technology provider.

Please follow the link to read the full article: http://www.cannabisfn.com/marijuana-driving-review-studies-legal-challenges/

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About CFN Media
CFN Media (CannabisFN) is the leading creative agency and media network dedicated to legal cannabis. We help marijuana businesses attract investors, customers (B2B, B2C), capital, and media visibility. Private and public marijuana companies and brands in the U.S. and Canada rely on CFN Media to grow and succeed.

Disclaimer:
Except for the historical information presented herein, matters discussed in this release contain forward-looking statements that are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such statements. Emerging Growth LLC, which owns CFN Media and CannabisFN.com, is not registered with any financial or securities regulatory authority, and does not provide nor claims to provide investment advice or recommendations to readers of this release. Emerging Growth LLC may from time to time have a position in the securities mentioned herein and may increase or decrease such positions without notice. For making specific investment decisions, readers should seek their own advice. Emerging Growth LLC may be compensated for its services in the form of cash-based compensation or equity securities in the companies it writes about, or a combination of the two. For full disclosure please visit: http://www.cannabisfn.com/legal-disclaimer/.

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