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Authorities in a fix over problems in detecting marijuana DUI in Arizona
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Authorities in a fix over problems in detecting marijuana DUI in Arizona

With voting on legalization of recreational marijuana to be expected soon in Arizona, law enforcement agencies are concerned about dealing with cases of driving under the influence (DUI) of the drug. Significantly, Arizona is among the ballot initiative states where citizens can directly vote on proposed laws. In November 2016, Arizona voted against the Proposition 205, thereby, blocking the legalization of cannabis use for recreational purposes in the state.

While Arizona allows medicinal use of marijuana, field test is not used in the state to detect DUI of pot by police. Officers trained in drug detection predict a possible DUI based on clues and signs of impairment. Though a blood test can determine if the driver is drugged, it could only be performed after the person suspected of DUI-drugs voluntarily submit to a blood draw, or a judge issues a warrant for the same.

“We do not use saliva tests to measure drug use in motorists…To our knowledge, no law enforcement agency in the state uses those tests. Unlike alcohol, there is no per se level for drugs found in a blood or urine sample. The presence of the drug or its psychoactive metabolite is sufficient,” said Bart Graves, spokesman for the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

Field tests involve the use of person’s saliva to detect the presence of active tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana that makes people feel “high.” States like Michigan and California are already using field tests to take action against drugged drivers.

Legalization of weed in US

Currently, medical use of cannabis is legal in 29 states and the District of Columbia. In addition, 16 states particularly allow the medical use of cannabidiol (CBD), a major phytocannabinoid that contributes to 40 percent of the plant’s extract and is free from intoxicating effects. Some eight states and the state of Columbia allow recreational cannabis use.

More states and cities in the country are getting liberal with their cannabis laws, ignoring the harmful effects of the drug. Studies show that one in six marijuana users is vulnerable to developing addiction if they start using it before 18 years. Teenagers using marijuana are prone to problems linked to memory, attention and learning functions. Also, pot use may have detrimental effects on mental health, causing anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts among teens.

According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), about 24 million people aged 12 or older used marijuana in the past month. In 2016, around 4 million Americans in the same age group had a marijuana use disorder in the past year. Sadly, many people with marijuana use disorder do not seek treatment for their addiction. So the need of the hour is to take effective measures to help people with addiction get timely treatment.

Seeking treatment for marijuana addiction

Irrespective of the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana in several states, people should be made aware of the fact that it is a highly addictive substance, which can lead to adverse health issues. THC is the main ingredient in marijuana that induces psychoactive changes in the body, leading to dependence on the drug.

If a person is grappling with substance abuse, help him/her seek immediate medical assistance at a reputed drug rehab facility. Sovereign Health specializes in mental health and substance abuse treatment for men and women. It has several facilities across the U.S. Our Chandler facility in Arizona is one of the best drug rehab facilities, exclusively for women. We offer evidence-based treatment to women addicted to marijuana or any other drug. Call our 24/7 helpline or chat online with one of our experts for more information on our drug rehab centers for women in Arizona.

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