When it comes to marijuana use and driving, it’s not as simple as a ‘legal limit’

Police puzzling over how to tackle uptick of drivers under influence of marijuana

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Since medical marijuana started becoming more available in Hawaii two years ago, police say DUI cases involving drivers using marijuana are up.

And as the state looks to relax its cannabis laws even more, they’re expecting an even larger upswing in cases.

“If you increase availability, you increase use. That use shows up more frequently in the driving population," said acting Maj. Ben Moszkowicz, of the Honolulu Police Department.

Police say that makes roads more risky and there’s debate over how to keep them safer.

Unlike drunk driving, there is no threshold for marijuana intoxication. That means a motorist driving impaired can be charged with any amount of THC in his system.

[Read more: A bill to decriminalize marijuana is one step closer to becoming law]

Some defense attorneys say that’s not fair.

“There are issues as to when the person consumed it and whether it was the cause of their driving that led the police to pull them over,” said attorney Jason Say.

Currently, DUI laws in 14 states require clear cut measurements for drugs in a person’s system. But HPD thinks that’s a bad idea.

“Per se limits look good on paper and they seem to be kind of a cookie cutter solution. But the problem is marijuana acts way different from alcohol,” said Moszkowicz.

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