Health / Toxicology

Marijuana legalised in Colorado

Marijuana legalised in ColoradoFrom 28 May, anyone over the age of 21 in the state of Colorado can legally grow, buy and use marijuana for recreational purposes. However, although this is a major victory for the campaigns of this legislation, there are growing concerns over how the provision will affect drivers. Following the legalisation of the drug, for the first time, Colorado has set a limit of the amount of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active component of marijuana, allowed in a driver’s blood.

Until now, drivers in Colorado could only be convicted of driving under the influence of marijuana if prosecutors could prove that THC in the system of the accused was recently taken, and compromising the ability of the driver. Now however, the new law outlines that anyone with more than 5 nanograms of THC per millilitre of blood is deemed ‘under the influence’.

Studies have suggested that THC levels above the 5 nanograms limit impairs judgement of time, contributing to the increase of risk of fatal car accidents.

The effects of marijuana of a driver’s ability vary greatly.  Franco Grotenhermen, who chairs the German Association for Cannabis as Medicine stated that “one person may be impaired with 5 nanograms, and one not even at 10 nanograms,”

Marijuana users elsewhere in the US face even tougher driving restrictions. In 15 states – including Washington, which also recently legalised marijuana – any level of THC in a driver’s blood automatically constitutes a crime. In Washington’s case, the drug’s legalisation has not led to this strict limit being revised.

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Randox Drug & Alcohol Testing Services

Professional drivers have a responsibility to carry out their daily tasks on the roads and railways safely and carefully. As driving is the most dangerous work activity most people do, employers must conduct suitable drug and alcohol testing via workplace drug and alcohol policies to ensure that work-related journeys are safe.

Randox Drug and Alcohol Testing Services are leaders in supplying an extensive range of innovative laboratory testing options.  They use their  own revolutionary Biochip Array Technology that has been scientifically proven to produce highly accurate results.  The Drugs of Abuse arrays have been specifically designed and validated to improve accuracy and reduce the number of false positives.  By focusing on laboratory expertise and Biochip Array Technology, Randox Drug & Alcohol Testing Services can simultaneously screen for a range of drugs in one sample.

Reference: www.newscientist.com

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