BOSTON (CBS) – Recreational marijuana use is now legal in Massachusetts, and it won’t be long before the pot shops are up and running. And you know what that means – some people will be getting stoned, and then getting behind the wheel.

In a new public service announcement video, the state is warning that the same laws against drunk driving also apply to driving under the influence of pot.

But at a news conference Wednesday, they also admitted to a fact that has law enforcement very concerned about their ability to deter stoned driving.

“It’s very hard to draw a line between some level of THC in the system and what the impairment is,” one official said.

And that’s the problem. Tougher enforcement policies and penalties have led to sharp decreases in drunk driving here over the past few decades. But there is no accepted road test for marijuana impairment. That doesn’t mean you can’t be stopped, arrested and charged based on other signs of being impaired, but it could create a false sense among scofflaws that they have better odds of beating the rap when driving while stoned.


Some members of the legal pot industry are also appealing to drivers to avoid stoned driving in part on the grounds that it might reflect poorly on legalization, and they’re right, it would. But if you’re old enough to recall how it took years of grisly accidents to cut down on drunk driving around here, you have to wonder if the same grim warnings may be needed again.

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Comments (4)
  1. And, remember, Jon, many of those who are desperately in favor of the legalizing of pot are also the ones that are the most vocal on removing guns from the hands of people.

    In my book, a the price of the legalization for both is the same.

    The difference is that the purpose for leaving the firearms in the hands of the people has a serious societal benefit that the ratifiers of our Constitution felt sufficiently strongly enough to entrain in the Bill of Rights as a condition for their votes.

    The leaving pot in the hands of The People has no similar societal benefit, and a dead person remains a dead person

    And to those that will argue that leaving firearms in the hands of The People is dangerous, I will respond by saying the same risk was shouldered by the people of colonial days since a bullet through the heart was just as fatal then as it is today.

  2. there is a third issue as well, phone usage while driving. All three, DUI, Phone, & Stoned driving are dangerous and need stricter laws, regulation, and ENFORCEMENT.

  3. I got news for everyone. People have been driving around high since there have been cars. The legalization will not create more smokers, if you didn’t smoke before you’re not likely to start now. If you smoked before it was legal, and they are legion, they are still smoking now. To think that driving while high is automatically going to go up is just dumb.

    1. You’re right, Joe, that the pot legalization may not create more smokers…

      But it WILL give another avenue for those driving high to create more carnage on the road. There is where the problems will begin.

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