Video: Stoners Test Driving Skills on Test-Track
Seattle news station KIRO-TV has taken on the controversy surrounding Washington state’s marijuana-specific Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUID) provision by putting stoned drivers to the test, literally. The station's unconventional experiment found that, while higher doses of pot led to clear signs of impairment behind the wheel, stoned drivers did not show significant impairment at even five times the legal 5ng/ml of blood limit.
In the clip posted below, three “light to heavy” marijuana users incrementally smoke nearly a gram of “blueberry trainwreck” before taking the wheel with a driving school instructor at a training course set up by the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office. A drug recognition expert watched for signs of intoxication.
After the first dose of .3 grams of pot each put the three volunteers far beyond the DUID standard, they all drove without much criticism from neither the driving instructor nor the cop. Dylan, a thirty-four-year-old who uses marijuana on the weekends, did “fine” at five times the legal limit. And Jeff, a fifty--six-year-old occasional marijuana smoker who represented the 'light' end of the pot-smoking spectrum was “cautious” and while driving slow enough to potentially catch the eye of law enforcement, was still driving “at acceptable levels,” said KIRO-TV. “He did real well,” driving instructor Mike Jackson remarked. Twenty-seven-year-old “heavy” marijuana user Addy, who showed up stoned at three times the legal limit, was giving the course a test-run before the experiment began when she made a sharp turn at a stop sign, clipping one of KIRO-TV’s cameras. The driving instructor said she was doing fine nonetheless. After consuming the .3 grams that put her at seven times the legal limit (36.7 ng of marijuana), Addy drove slower, but struck a traffic cone. Still, the driving instructor said he “wouldn’t pull her off the road.”
Two smoke sessions and nearly a gram of pot each later, however, another driving test showed some issues sprouting up. Dylan basically forgot how to complete the course, and after asking “What is this cone in the middle?” turned early and left the track. Later, the driving instructor had to grab the wheel to stop him from swinging wide and hittiing a photographer at twenty miles per hour. This time, the drug cop said Dylan's driving was suspicious enough he would’ve stopped him. Jeff drove so slowly he should not have been on the road, according to both the cop and his own analysis. He also backed out over a cone. Super-stoner Addy, however, made no major mistakes during this run, with the cop remarking that her driving skills were “border line” in determining whether he would stop her. She smoked one more time, bringing her total intake to 1.4 grams. This time, Addy said she was “Way more stoned” and “definitely shouldn’t be driving.” She backed up right over a cone, and all agreed she was too high to drive this time.
A twelve-step DUID evaluation found that after smoking .9 grams of pot each, all three would have been arrested for driving under the influence. Jeff could not even find his nose with his fingertip. Nonetheless, this 'experiment' provides some interesting insight into how high is too high to drive, and whether the law on the books is too strict a standard for even the occasional stoner.