BARTON W. MORRIS, FOUNDER OF CANNABIS LEGAL GROUP, REPORTS THAT THC LEVELS CANNOT EQUATE TO IMPAIRED DRIVING
FINDINGS PRESENTED BY IMPAIRED DRIVING SAFETY COMMISSION AND TO STATE LAWMAKERS
“Levels of THC in the blood are not an accurate measure of the level of intoxication, as is the case with blood alcohol levels”, said Michigan’s only ACS Designated Forensic Lawyer-Scientist, Barton W. Morris Jr., founder of Cannabis Legal Group. Morris explained “numerous studies have identified that the absorption, distribution and elimination of marijuana from the body, along with the behavioral and cognitive effects, is very different from the case with alcohol”.
Morris went on to explain that the facts are clear, there is not a direct correlation between THC levels in the blood and impairment, science has proven that. “Frankly, some people can be extremely impaired with a very low level of THC, I wouldn’t want them operating a vehicle legally because the number is to low, and vice versa”. Morris is referring to the levels of delta- 9-tetrahydrocannabinal (THC), the primary psychoactive substance in marijuana, in the body.
The State of Michigan Impaired Driving Safety Commission has studied this issue. After thorough review of not only the presentation by Morris, but other presenters, The State of Michigan Impaired Driving Safety Commission ultimately agreed with the recommendations made by Morris and the others. Studies have suggested that people impaired by marijuana drive more slowly, leave greater space between cars and take fewer risks behind the wheel. Morris stated, “the commission report is totally accurate in that there cannot be a THC concentration in the blood that reasonably equates to impaired driving”.
Six states have established limits for THC impairment.; Those states include Colorado, Montana, Washington, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Ohio. However, without a legal limit for Marijuana, such as the 0.08 percent blood alcohol content. Prosecutors in the state of Michigan will have to deal with the facts of each case. “A positive test result for THC cannot mean a driver can automatically be charged with DUI and can only be a factor that can be taken into consideration” Morris said. The Commission suggests more police officers be trained on how to identify drugs and drugged driving and continue to work on roadside drug tests. A trial run of roadside saliva tests in the state of Michigan also concluded that most drivers suspected of being impaired, were under the influence of marijuana. It is important to note that just as breathalyzer tests for alcohol cannot be used in court, the roadside saliva tests are also excluded.
Barton W. Morris Jr of Cannabis Legal Group is available for interviews on this matter.