Earlier this year, a Pew Research study showed 61% of Americans currently approve of the legalization of marijuana. In 1969, approval was only at 12%. By the year 2000, marijuana legalization had risen to a 31% approval rating. This means that marijuana legalization support has doubled in just two decades. These numbers show us a clear and steady rise over the years. You don’t have to be a statistical analyst or a researcher to see the increasing acceptance medicinal and recreational use. However, despite the rising approval, there are still issues that need solving. More specifically, police officers, traffic safety officials, and drug-free advocates have concerns about how marijuana legalization in NJ will affect the overall safety of their citizens. Does marijuana legalization in NJ make it easier for people to drive under the influence? What kind of legal consequences can you face for driving high? These and many other questions have surfaced around this subject. Here’s a quick breakdown of the drugged driving issue.
Of course, the main problem with convicting someone of driving while under the influence of marijuana is the inability to conduct a test that proves they’re driving high. While alcohol levels can be easily detected through a Breathalyzer, marijuana doesn’t work in the same way. Marijuana stays in your bloodstream for about a month. But, you only feel the actual effects of the drug hours after inhaling or digesting it. In other words, someone being drug tested might test positive at the exact moment of a traffic incident but may not have consumed the drug that day. There’s no way of telling if this driver is still under the influence, or is merely testing positive from previous use.
Officials in New Jersey are also trying to decide what kind of consequences you should face for driving under the influence of weed. As of right now, drugged drivers face the same penalties drunk drivers face in the state of New Jersey. However, officials in places like Colorado have warned others not to react aggressively to the growing new culture. You don’t want to scare weed consumers with unfair punishments. This could hurt the industry, but you also don’t want a rise in car fatalities either. Marijuana legalization in NJ will most definitely spark more debates and discussions on how to approach this safely and justly.
Marijuana legalization in NJ opens the door to economic growth. It also provides the potential for small businesses and more entry-level jobs. The industry offers a lot to those who wish to capitalize on it. Much of the dilemma between advocates and opponents of marijuana legalization in NJ involves safety versus economic growth. Everyone wants to see more jobs and higher earnings, but no one wants to sacrifice their safety for it. Those who are apart of the industry, consume the product, and enforce the laws will have to find common ground.