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Currently, there is no sound scientific method for determining if you are too high to operate a vehicle. As some states and countries continue to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, interest in developing a system of determining when someone is too high to drive is increasing. When it comes to alcohol, police in New York can rely on breathalyzer tests and chemical tests to determine if you are over the clearly set legal limit for blood alcohol content. According to Complex Magazine, however, similar tests may not be effective when it comes to marijuana use.

Currently, Montana, Colorado and Washington use a standard of 5 nanograms per milliliter of THC, the psychoactive compound found in marijuana, as the legal limit for determining whether you are too high to drive. However, a recent study found that the amount of THC levels present in your bloodstream do not bear any indication on whether you have the ability to safely operate a vehicle compared to another person. While the study found that sober people did perform better on tests like field sobriety tests than high people did, the level of THC present in the marijuana user’s blood did not necessarily determine how the user performed. In other words, some people with high levels of THC acted more normally that others with lower levels of THC in their blood.

This means that there are likely other factors at play. For instance, if you are a habitual smoker you will likely have a higher tolerance and therefore you may act and feel less high than someone who does not smoke marijuana on a regular basis, even if the amount of THC in your bloodstream is higher than theirs. Therefore, using blood limits as a test for enforcing marijuana intoxication is likely to result in arbitrary enforcement of the law the researchers surmised.

As recreational pot use becomes legalized in more states, the need to regulate who is capable of driving while high and who is not will only grow. It remains to be seen whether a test will be developed that accurately determines at point you may actually be too high to drive.

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