Medically certified patients consumed marijuana to demonstrate impairment for police in Montgomery County, where recreational marijuana soon will become legal.
Thursday night’s training was an effort to demonstrate the difference in how cannabis impairs drivers than alcohol does.
“This is a great opportunity for us to really enhance our deployment out on the road and our proactive ability to identify impaired drivers by cannabis,” a police officer said.
Volunteers smoked or consumed marijuana while police observed their reactions.
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“Because if police aren’t educated, they are going to do a variety of stops and arrests that aren’t realistic,” one volunteer said.
Alcohol plays a far greater role in fatal crashes, but cannabis-impaired drivers cause 25% more crashes than sober drivers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Recreational marijuana is legal in the District and Virginia and becomes legal in Maryland July 1. But it is still illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana.
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