The legalization of medical marijuana is still in its infancy in Maryland, so there is little chance that lawmakers will approve any measures legalizing the drug for recreational use in the near future. For many, perhaps you included, marijuana is like alcohol. It may be part of your social life, like having a few beers or sharing a bottle of wine.
However, even though it is legal for adults to drink alcohol recreationally, it is not legal for adults to get behind the wheel of a car after having too much to drink. The same is true for using marijuana. Nevertheless, a recent survey by AAA shows that millions of Americans admit to driving a motor vehicle within an hour of using marijuana.
Marijuana causes impairment in drivers
Almost 70% of those surveyed believe that, despite driving while high, they will arrive safely at their destinations without police pulling them over. Almost 15 million people admitted that they have driven high in the past month. If you are among those who routinely drive after using marijuana, you may face serious consequences. Even though you may believe police will not catch you, the following factors are working against you:
- Marijuana impairs your thinking similar to the way alcohol works in your body.
- The effects of marijuana can significantly slow your ability to react to sudden changes in traffic or your environment.
- You are more likely to use poor judgment if you are high behind the wheel.
- You may be unable to keep your vehicle in the correct lane while driving high.
- More law enforcement officers have special training and certification to identify drivers who are impaired by drugs.
Even though Maryland has taken considerable steps to decriminalize marijuana possession, you may end up facing some harsh consequences if you commit other driving offenses while high or become involved in an accident, especially if someone suffers injuries.
While the effects of marijuana may be quite pleasant when you are with your friends in the safety of someone's home, those same effects can place you and others in danger on the road. This is why the penalties for a conviction for driving while impaired by drugs are alcohol can be quite severe. If you find yourself under arrest for such an offense, your future is on the line. You do not want to leave things to chance or face the charges without solid legal assistance and advice.