RELEASE: Bipartisan Gottheimer Amendment Passes, Will Study Ways to Determine if a Driver is Impaired by Marijuana

Apr 01, 2022
Press

Department of Transportation Study

Will Help Law Enforcement Keep Roads Safe

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Friday, April 1, 2022, U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer successfully offered a bipartisan amendment on the House floor to the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, to help protect our families from the dangers of intoxicated drivers by investing in a study on technologies and methods that law enforcement can use to determine whether a driver is impaired by marijuana.

The study will be conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an agency of the Department of Transportation (DOT).

It’s been reported that marijuana significantly impairs judgment, motor coordination, and reaction time, and studies have found a direct relationship between blood THC concentration and impaired driving ability. Drivers under the influence of marijuana regularly cause traffic collisions and marijuana is the illicit drug most frequently found in the blood of drivers who have been involved in vehicle crashes, including fatal ones.

For a marijuana test to be effective on drivers, it must detect recent cannabis use and also prove that cannabis in a person’s system impaired his or her driving. There is not yet a cannabis breathalyzer that does both of those things because, unlike alcohol, cannabis can stay in the body long after their “high” has worn off.

“It is critical that our law enforcement officers are able to determine if recent use of cannabis is directly impacting a person’s ability to operate a vehicle. The fact is that we need more widely available technologies to determine whether drivers are impaired by marijuana and my amendment invests in a study to do just that,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer. “We need to make sure that our law enforcement officers have all the resources and tools necessary to keep roads and highways safe for our families.” 

Watch Gottheimer’s remarks on the House floor here.

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