Drug Driving? Congress Debates Dangers of Driving Stoned

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As states continue to relax marijuana laws, Congress on Thursday turned its attention to the tricky question of how to handle “drug driving.”

At a hearing titled “Planes, Trains and Automobiles: Operating While Stoned,” members of the House Oversight Committee debated how to best regulate drivers who hit the road after getting “high.” Unlike alcohol, it is impossible to quickly test drivers to determine if they are too impaired to drive.

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“There is no hard and fast way to determine whether an individual is driving under the influence and there has yet to be established a uniformed amount of marijuana which constitutes drug driving,” said Rep. John Fleming, R- La.

Colorado and Washington have legalized recreational use of marijuana while a number of other states have decriminalized it. It still remains banned by federal law, though.

“We actually can't scientifically pinpoint levels of impairment with any accuracy. We would all concede some impairment for some period of time but very variable and we're not quite sure yet, certainly not sure enough to adopt a uniform standard,” Rep. Gerald Connolly, D-Va., said.


-- Emily Gaffney and Andrew Rafferty