How High is Too High to Drive in Michigan?

When it comes to states known for pioneering change on the issue of medical marijuana, people tend to think of Colorado and Washington long before they think of Michigan. But that might be about to change.

The Michigan House of Representatives has decided that it’s high time we figure out exactly how high is too high when it comes to driving under the influence of marijuana. The goal, it appears, is to find that magic number that will help lawmakers set a threshold for exactly how much marijuana a person is able to consume, and still safely get behind the wheel.


In much the same way we have a .08 Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) limit for drivers in Michigan, meaning that one’s blood cannot contain more than .08 percent alcohol or you will be considered legally drunk, lawmakers want a similar “number” for marijuana consumption. For example, in Colorado, a driver may not have more than 5 nanograms of active THC per milliliter of blood. But according to Michigan State Representative Peter Lucido, Colorado officials pulled that number “out of their derrieres.”


Lucido sponsored the bill that, among other things, requires that a commission be formed to study this conundrum and determine the exactly how high is too high. The commission, which will be appointed by the governor, will include a physician, a representative from the Michigan State Police, a forensic toxicologist, a medical marijuana expert and two professors from two different research universities in Michigan.


According to Lucido, while there are a number of other states that have assigned a threshold for how much marijuana consumption results in intoxication, Michigan would be a pioneer in that we would be the first to really study the issue and come up with a scientifically backed answer. As you might expect, not everyone thinks this is a good use of state funds.


There are those who say that this pipe dream will result in a grand total of nothing. Chris Lindsey, Senior Legislative Analyst at the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington D.C. has spoken with the media about the fact that this misguided Michigan effort will flounder around before finally realizing that it just isn’t possible. Why is that, you may wonder?


Because according to the MPP, everybody is different. Regular users will have more tolerance than occasional users, just like frequent users of alcohol tolerate a few drinks better than a person that seldom drinks. In essence, the MPP says, there is no magic number about smoking weed and assigning one will just mean that some people who use medical marijuana with regularity will be forced to give up driving all together just to stay out of jail.


Our drunk driving attorneys have no idea what the commission will come up with after it has completed its study but as drunk and drugged driving attorneys in Michigan, we will be keeping a close eye on the results. We will let you know if there is any new information available that could help you stay safe and informed. If somebody you know is charged with drunk driving or drugged driving in Michigan, our criminal defense lawyers can be reached all day, every day of the year at 1 866-766-5245.


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