Joints and driving don’t mix

Amanda Kasl, Opinions Editor

 

    Marijuana use has gone from being a taboo substance to a commonly marketed one you can find on most street corners. Rather than finding someone with connections to dealers, people now go to dispensaries for easy access to society’s favorite stress and pain reliever. 

    It’s not uncommon to be walking down grocery store aisles or even across college campuses and get a whiff of the weed. People settle in their cars with drooped, bloodshot eyes, off to whatever task they need to take care of next. 

    There needs to be a balance, like everything in life. Marijuana, like alcohol, should have stricter regulations in place. You can’t crack open a bottle, get in your car and expect not to be pulled over. The same should apply to any mind-altering substance. 

    Within the next year, marijuana breathalyzers are rumored to be implemented, and with the controversy surrounding legalizing marijuana, this should be considered a serious concern for daily users. Although it is unclear if these devices will be utilized across the U.S. or in California alone, I would argue that it’s a step in the right direction.

    Alcohol is legal, yet there is still an age limit in which it can be consumed and purchased, along with strict regulations in terms of driving. You are allowed to drink at your home, but if you make the choice to get behind the wheel of a car, then you are choosing to chance consequences ranging from being pulled over and arrested for a DUI to harming yourself or other drivers. Marijuana should be no different.

    Marijuana has its benefits. For instance, it can aid in stress and pain relief, however, at the end of the day, it is a mind-altering substance that whether it is legal or not, should have regulations, limitations and stipulations. 

    You are able to smoke at home, but again, as with alcohol, if you choose to drive high on marijuana, you are choosing to take the consequences associated with that decision. 

    Once these marijuana breathalyzers are implemented, if you are pulled over with suspicion, you can and will be tested. Marijuana may be legal, but once you step out of your home, the consequences of what may happen no longer solely fall on you. 

    In this new day and age of what is legal and socially acceptable, I urge you to think twice about what you’re willing to risk if you choose to get behind the wheel of a vehicle while high on marijuana.