Driving under the influence (DUI) is one of the major violations of driving policies across the world and in the United States in particular. DUI means driving the vehicle under the influence of either alcohol or illicit substances that affect human behavior. However, if alcohol implications are quite visible in the process of driving, marijuana use is not obvious enough to be noticed every time. Since the medical use of marijuana is now legalized in twenty-three US states, the drug intolerance policy has to be reconsidered for the sake of driving safety.
The vast majority of states dealing with marijuana legalization can be divided into the ones that implement zero-tolerance policy and the ones using the per se approach to control drug abuse on the roads. While zero-tolerance concerns the prohibition of any measurable amount of drug in the human body, per se policy restricts the violation of the accepted drug amount (“Drug-impaired driving laws,” 2019). Depending on the policies implemented, once a driver is proved to have used marijuana for either instrumental or recreational purposes, he or she has to justify that the allowed amount is not violated.
States with a zero-tolerance policy are to admit the impairment regardless of the amount used or a medical prescription. Among the substantial effects of marijuana are poor driving, slurred speech, and unusual behavior (McCurley, 2020). However, such factors are not always visible while a person is under the marijuana influence, and the abuser may not be caught by the legal representatives. Thus, the only way to handle the increased risk of driving accidents is to pay much attention to the regular check-ups on the road as well as to implement more serious charges. In another way, state residents will feel the freedom to violate the driving policies justifying it by the medical prescriptions.
Marijuana Addiction Through Legalization
The rapid spreading of marijuana legalization for both instrumental and recreational purposes creates a common impression that the illicit drug now becomes as available as any legal substance. With being legally accepted for medical use in more than 20 states and with 13 states legalizing recreational marijuana consumption, many people are now concerned with the implications such freedom may bring. According to Levinthal (2014), even if marijuana has a short-term healing effect and helps relieve pain, the adverse effects of long-term use are quite threatening. Although the drug has, in fact, negative aspects, there is a misguided assumption that the percentage of drug users would be considerably low without legalization.
The patterns of severe marijuana abuse were present across the US a lot earlier than medical marijuana legalization became widespread. However, if previously the US government did not have enough information to track the drug flow and the scopes of its consumption, nowadays, they have the chance to gain control over the situation (“Marijuana legalization and regulation,” 2020). First of all, then an illegal business can now be legalized, bringing more workplaces and finance to the state. Secondly, the quality of marijuana can now be controlled in order to provide people with high-quality medical treatment, so people are no longer at risk of using a synthetic drug. Hence, taking everything into consideration, it can be concluded that if used wisely, marijuana legalization may lead to positive consequences for both the US and its residents. Although there is a chance of an increased number of drug users, it can also be legally and easily handled with governmental help.
McCurley, J. (2020). Can I get a DUI driving high on marijuana? Web.
Drug-impaired driving laws. (2019). Web.
Levinthal, C. F. (2014). Drugs, behavior, and modern society. London, UK: Pearson Education.
Marijuana legalization and regulation. (2020). Web.