Driving While High Focus of Hearing

By Beacon Staff

HELENA – A lawmaker says medical patients with a license to use marijuana should be stripped of the privilege if they are caught driving high.

Sen. Verdell Jackson says drivers become impaired after taking marijuana. The Kalispell Republican wants to create a harsh penalty to make sure it doesn’t happen.

Opponents of the bill, and supporters of the medical marijuana law, say there is no accurate test for marijuana impairment.

They argued in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing that the drug THC stays in the system for days after marijuana use. So people not suffering any impairment could be penalized.

Voters approved the state’s medical marijuana law in 2004. It allows those who receive a prescription from a doctor to possess a limited amount of marijuana for personal use.