No Consensus On Marijuana Blood Tests

Feb 7, 2013

Arrests and prosecutions for driving under the influence of marijuana do not appear to be going up or down. Voters legalized recreational marijuana as of December sixth, and set a strict new standard for how much marijuana can be in your blood, if you're stopped for impaired driving.

But police, prosecutors and public defenders told a legislative committee, they haven’t seen any impact. Amy Freedheim is the lead prosecutor in King County for DUI cases. She's says the blood test for marijuana is less important than mixing substances.

Freedheim: “I think that’s the greatest concern we see, is the mixture of alcohol and marijuana, because that’s so exponentially impairing."

Prosecutors say DUI cases typically depend on much more than a blood test, including eyewitness testimony and what an officer observed at the scene. Marijuana advocates say lawmakers should get rid of the blood test because it’s not a reliable sign of impairment. There’s no scientific consensus about the best way to test for marijuana in the body.

Copyright 2013 Northwest Public Radio