Law enforcers and marijuana experts will meet in Portland on Monday at a summit where they will come up with measures to enhance road safety. They will specifically address the rising number of road accidents caused by drivers under the influence of marijuana.
The law enforcement officers will meet at the impaired-driving summit whose sponsors are the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety and AAA Northern New England. The meeting will address new methods and research aimed at controlling drivers under drug influence. Organizers claim that they will specifically deal with marijuana-impaired driving in readiness of the marijuana legalization efforts in the state.
AAA Northern New England director of public affairs Pat Moody stated that it is necessary to make sure that the authorities are completely prepared to deal with the challenges that will emerge after the legalization of marijuana for recreational use. Maine will vote in November to decide whether it will join the likes of Washington, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Alaska and Oregon which are some of the states that have legalized marijuana for recreation use.
The authorities in these states, especially in Washington, have reported a rise in the number of marijuana-related road accidents since the drug was made legal. The AAA Traffic Safety Foundation claims that the number of fatal accidents in Washington has doubled especially involving drivers under recent influence of marijuana. Researchers also claim that legal limits cannot be accurately set because there is no scientific support.
Unlike alcohol, it is difficult to accurately determine the marijuana levels that are safe to warrant accurate driving and those that are too dangerous. It can, therefore, result in the conviction of innocent drivers and while those that were guilty would walk free. Police officers currently rely on a drug-recognition exam to determine whether a driver’s judgment is impaired. However, there is the need for more efficient tools for the officers to identify situations where drivers are under drug influence. The authorities expect drug-impaired driving cases to rise as marijuana becomes legally accepted and thus the need for them to be prepared.