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Driving under the influence of marijuana -- still a risk

Even though marijuana is illegal in New York, there are still many people who use the drug illegally. There are some people in Syracuse who think there is no problem with marijuana use and others who believe it to be incredibly risky, yet regardless of what people think, studies have shown that marijuana in the system increases the risk of an accident. Though stoned driving may not be considered as risky as driving while intoxicated, it is still dangerous driving.

While states may have laws that punish stoned drivers, it can be hard to test for drivers who have been smoking. For one, many of them can pass the standardized road tests that many drunk people fail. Moreover, the only way to test for THC, the chemical compound in marijuana, is by administering a blood or urine test, something that is typically done hours after arrest.

Although there appears to be a lack of technology that is preventing police from nailing stoned drivers, it is important that this kind of dangerous behavior be stopped. It doesn't matter that drunk driving increases the risk of accidents 20 times and it is only two times as high with marijuana, no one deserves to be injured on Syracuse's streets because of a stoned driver. Fortunately, if there is an accident, a crash victim can file a lawsuit against the driver responsible.

Another important step is for states to create hard an fast rules about what amount of marijuana is acceptable for a driver to have in his or her system. As of now, only six states have been bold enough to create such limits. It will especially become necessary if New York ever legalizes marijuana.

Source: New York Times, "Driving Under the Influence, of Marijuana," Maggie Koerth-Baker, Feb. 17, 2014

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