Crunchy groove enthusiasts have been celebrating the liberation of their leafy friend from the chains of oppression since last Wednesday in Colorado and Washington. Along with the haze of good news come regulations, however, and now Uncle Sam wants to tell us how much pot we can smoke before driving. I didn't fight a secret war in Nicaragua for this kind of fascist crap.
So here's a few main questions regarding the new DUI requirements pertaining to marijuana, and a cute little owl to explain how you can get around them. Seriously, you're way too blazed to read this without the owl.
1. How will stoned drivers be kept off the road, and how will that be monitored?
Doped driving will be a difficult issue for authorities to tackle with the recent changes to the law. For starters, you need a blood test to determine if someone is under the influence, and that's something your average roadside cop isn't qualified to do. In the time it could take to drag Stoney Mcbongerson to the station to get tested, the THC level has the potential to drop below the legal limit. More on that in a bit, but this also puts more pressure on police officers to pull over drivers they suspect to be high. If someone isn't barreling through red lights or swerving into oncoming traffic, how do they make that call? Ineffectively, with a reliance on profiling.
Stoney's Tip: Keep to the backroads, kids. The coppers don't have the numbers to monitor every cranny in suburbia. Also keep the music at a reasonable level for those David Gilmore solos; nothing says I'm peaking like blasting "Echoes" into the night.
2. What qualifies as being legally stoned?
Similar to alcohol, the effects of marijuana differ extraordinarily from person to person, with weight, tolerance, and number of Led Zeppelin albums owned all playing a role. Contrary to booze — with the .08 blood-alcohol limit now nationwide — there's no magic number for grass yet. Different states have different limits, with them all falling below 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood. In Ohio and Pennsylvania, you'll be squeezed if you exceed 2 nanograms, and God forbid you're ever in Arizona where they shoot you for just having dreadlocks.
Stoney's Tip: Stay in the Pacific Northwest, bro doggies, and keep the Entenmann's in good supply. When you start pushing 300 pounds, it'll take a mountain of the stuff to show up in your blood for any extended period. Should you get too heavy to actually fit into a vehicle, remember you can still get a DUI on a rascal.
3. Will the quality of your pot affect THC levels?
Whether you're getting stoney on White Widow, or Purple Haze rocks your socks off, the strain of marijuana makes a big difference on your buzz. I won't lecture you on how hydroponics and advances in the cultivation process have made dope a million times more potent that your Grand Dad's old fatties, but it does serve you to know that weed with a higher THC potency will get you higher and naturally the levels in your body will be elevated. Therefore when a more established legal limit is set, your crazy tolerance makes you susceptible to getting pinched, even if you're not feeling particularily enlightened.
Stoney's Tip: We've all been there, hombre, you've been taking bingers of Royal Kush for three weeks straight, and now it would take an elephant gun to get you over the hump. Your best bet is to take a day or two away from the pipe, and do things that regular people do. You know, like pay those bills for once, or actually have a conversation without losing your train of thought. That, or switch to a few pounds of schwag and fly under the radar.
4. Will underage smokers pay the biggest price?
Here's an overview of Amendment 64 that recently passed in the great state of Colorado:
You may notice an important piece of information regarding the possession and home-growing requirements there; if you're under 21, no soup for you. So while Big Tobacco has free reign on the 18-year-old lungs of America, dope is off limits, at least for now. Apparently no one told the powers at be that a large majority of college students are in fact under 21, and (gasp) use marijuana recreationally. While there is a booming market in senior consumers, their younger counterparts may face a fallout over stricter driving regulations. Many colleges stay informed on their students legal infractions by way of personal police departments, and giddily fine, suspend, or even give the boot to the indulging parties.
Stoney's Tip: Wait till the cigarette companies get a hold of the stuff. That'll shut the bastards up, and keep you on the path towards your worthless degree. Also, don't pay attention to those studies about weed greatly disrupting teenagers' cognitive development. Pure speculation.
5. What about the Feds?
So with all this goodwill being thrown around, and decriminalization being the hottest trend since the snuggie, federal law still supercedes the recent state legislation. Thus, even if you get pulled over beneath the set legal limit, there's a chance that gets thrown out the window and you get canned for possession or being under the influence.
Stoney's Tip: Enforcement is the name of the game, and it will take at least a year for the whole legal weed system to get going in the recently made green states. In the beginning a few brave soldiers will get busted, some dispensaries will be closed, and Tommy Chong will go to jail again for no good reason, but it's a losing effort. Eventually the rate of state legalization and prevailing opinion will alter the deeper-rooted federal mandates. Also it'll be way more profitable to tax the sh*t out of the dope than regulate it's unlawful consumption.