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Colorado’s New Marijuana Laws: Will They Make Our Roads More Dangerous?

colorado-marijuana-lawsColorado’s marijuana laws have changed radically over the past 5 years.

In September, for instance, new rules went into place regarding the regulation of recreational marijuana buying. These rules covered issues like:

  • Licensing and fees;
  • Growing rules;
  • Transparency;
  • Safety and security (particularly for children);
  • Consumer protection;
  • Child marketing rules;
  • Inspections;
  • Purchasing and growing limits;
  • Background checks.

Marijuana rights advocates have celebrated the legal advances. But safety advocates worry about how the widespread use of the drug might impact driving behaviors and road safety. The Colorado legislature has spent a fair amount of time haggling over how to test people for driving under the influence of marijuana. Lawmakers want to protect people’s Constitutional rights, but they also want to enforce smarter safety standards.

Testing for recent marijuana use is inherently trickier than testing for recent alcohol consumption. When you drink, your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) rises. But then your BAC levels fall within several hours, as your body metabolizes the alcohol.

Other, similar tests can also track chemical changes in the body caused by marijuana use. Unfortunately, the chemical “fingerprint” from marijuana can linger in the system long after the actual effects of that drug subside. In some cases, “illegally high” levels of signature marijuana chemicals can stay in the blood for a whole month after use. In other words, a person could smoke medical marijuana, wait a whole month, and then get tested. Current technology would show him to be “over the limit.” He could lose his license, go to jail, face steep fines, etc.

This issue also creates serious problems for victims of Colorado accidents. If a driver t-boned you at an intersection at Colorado Springs while possibly under the influence of marijuana… how can you test the hypothesis that the other driver was, indeed, on drugs?

Was the Driver Who Hit You High on Marijuana Or on a Prescription Medication?

As time ticks by after a car crash, key evidence tends to disappear, degrade, and get lost:

  • The police will clean up the crash scene;
  • The driver (who might have been illegally under the influence of alcohol, drugs or medications) will recover and become sober again;
  • Witnesses will forget what they saw;
  • Etc.

To build your most effective case, you want to initiate an investigation as quickly as possible (within reason) after the accident. Whether a marijuana-related Colorado crash just happened a few hours ago, or whether you got hurt days or even weeks ago, the team here at Roberts Accident Law, LLC would like to hear from you and help your understand your possible options to seek justice and fair compensation. Call us at 720-515-7058 to set up a free consultation.



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