Will Marijuana Legalization Make NJ Roads More Dangerous?

Akash Nayee

written Feb 19, 2018


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In New Jersey, 1,816 fatalities have been reported due to impaired driving from 2003 to 2012. This is an average of 180 deaths per year, which causes a major concern for people as the state moves towards legalizing marijuana. Monmouth County, which is home county of Governor Phil Murphy is opposed to legalization. Many fear legalization will cause a major increase in impaired driving, resulting in more accidents and unfortunately, more fatalities.

 

Legalization of marijuana also brings up several complex issues, currently, there are no laws in place for the legal limits of driving while under the influence of Marijuana. There is also no roadside test for determining if a person is “too high to drive”. Lastly, law enforcement is not properly trained to indicate and recognize impaired drivers. States, where Marijuana has already been legalized like Colorado, conclude although there are more impaired drivers on the roads, there is no data in support of more accidents caused by the legalization.

 

One company looking to profit off legalization of Marijuana is Hound Labs. A California based company selling a THC breathalyzer. Similar to alcohol breathalyzer, once a driver is suspected of driving while impaired they will be asked to blow into a breathalyzer. The breathalyzer will then detect the amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The THC can be detected within two to three hours after use. Which matches the time frame a suspect may be impaired.

 

If marijuana is legalized, the main concern will be to prevent impaired driving. Future permit holders will be educated on the cause and effects of driving while impaired, similar to drinking and driving. The younger generation believes Marijuana does less bodily harm than alcohol, the older generation believes smoking the substance impacts your coordination and ability to react. Unfortunately, there is not enough data to support either argument. Many people believe that Marijuana is the wrong substance to be afraid of. Alcohol is legal, yet underage drinking and driving occur every day.

 

To read more about driving laws that may impact your state visit Drivesafetoday.com

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