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Driving while high on marijuana: It's illegal

There is a lot of debate among marijuana enthusiasts, lawyers and safety experts about whether driving while high is dangerous. At this point, there is so much disagreement that the jury is out on whether or not it's safe to drive after smoking marijuana.

This fact, however, remains: It's illegal to drive while intoxicated by marijuana, and if New Jersey police suspect you're high behind the wheel, they'll arrest you and charge you with a serious crime.

What the CDC says about driving while high

Here's what the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tell us about driving while high on marijuana:

  • Driving while impaired by marijuana is dangerous.
  • Marijuana slows down our decision-making processes and it slows down our reaction time.
  • Marijuana can impair muscle coordination, distort the perception of drivers and cause problem-solving challenges and memory loss.
  • The challenges of driving while high become significantly worse when marijuana is combined with alcohol.
  • Why are the risks of driving while high so controversial?

The CDC admits that the link between marijuana and car accidents is vague at best. Some studies have revealed this link, but the CDC says that it's still not clear if car accident risks really do increase while drivers are high. This is largely because of the following:

  • Police cannot conduct an accurate in-field test to determine the level of intoxication experienced by the driver who is high on marijuana.
  • Marijuana can stay in the system of a user for weeks after using the drug.
  • Police don't always test for the use of marijuana after an accident or after pulling a driver over because it's hard to prove this allegation.
  • Allegedly high drivers often have a mix of substances in their system, so it's hard for analysts to determine which one is to blame for a collision.

What if police arrest me and accuse me of driving while high?

Regardless of what you think about the safety of driving while high -- using marijuana behind the wheel a serious violation of the law. A charge of driving while high that leads to a conviction will result in severe criminal punishments. As such, if you're facing these kinds of accusations, be sure to handle your criminal defense cautiously and appropriately.

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