UCSD: Law enforcement assessment of cannabis impairment alone is “not accurate enough”
New research out of UC San Diego has underscored just how far we are from a reliable measure of cannabis-impaired driving. Testing of blood, urine, and breath all fall short in their own ways, and so, too, the research makes clear, does an officer’s assessment.
Researchers from the university’s Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial involving 184 adults who either received a placebo joint or a joint with THC that led to “significant intoxication.” Officers then assessed things like balance and eye movements.
Overall, “officers classified a significantly higher proportion of participants in the THC group as being impaired based on the field sobriety tests compared to the placebo group.” However, while officers “labeled 98 participants (81%) from the THC group as being impaired based on their performance” one hour after they smoked, they also said the same of “31 participants (49%) from the placebo group.”
“While cannabis can be impairing, the effects vary for each individual. There is thus a public health need to confirm that evaluations of impairment are effective and unbiased, and this study is an important step towards that goal,” said lead author Thomas Marcotte, also the co-director of the Center.
“Field sobriety tests are useful additions to overall evaluations of drivers, but are not accurate enough on their own to determine THC impairment,” Marcotte continued. “New effective measures for identifying cannabis impairment are needed to ensure the safety of all drivers on the road.”
The full study was published in JAMA Psychiatry.
Denver cites unregulated cannabis events, including one to benefit Denver NORML.
Cannabis has been legal in Colorado since 2012, but like anywhere, cannabis activity has to be licensed.
The City of Denver has investigated a handful of locations after receiving complaints. The events included things like Stoner Cinema, Elevated Yoga, and Canna Bath. Another, a benefit dinner at the Marijuana Mansion, was a fundraiser for NORML Denver.
According to Denver regulators, the City and County of Denver sent an email notice to NORML Denver, after which their lawyers responded to ask for event information.
“We hope businesses that are operating marijuana hospitality without the city and/or state required license will take steps to get licensed,” Eric Escudero, spokesperson for the City and County of Denver told Cannabis Wire.
“As part of the city’s extensive effort to create more equity in the cannabis industry, the city has licensing exclusivity for social equity applicants to apply for most marijuana licenses in Denver, including marijuana hospitality.”
Columbia Care, Cresco’s $2 billion merger officially falls apart.
The two multistate operators made a joint statement on July 31 that explained (… ish) why the planned merger was terminated.
The companies were required to divest various assets for regulatory approval for the deal to go through.
“In light of the evolving landscape in the cannabis industry, we believe the decision to terminate the planned transaction is in the long-term interest of Cresco Labs and our shareholders,” Charles Bachtell, CEO of Cresco, said in a statement.
The implications of this termination meant that the MSOs also terminated a deal with Sean “Diddy” Combs to buy some of their assets in New York, Illinois, and Massachusetts.