Wash. Police Trained to Spot Pot Impairment

WASHINGTON: Seattle police DUI Officer Mike Lewis hears it all the time when he pulls over stoned drivers crawling along Interstate 5 at half the speed limit.“But it’s legal.”

They’re right — sort of.

Initiative 502 legalized recreational marijuana use in Washington last year, but if drivers are too high to safely operate a vehicle, they’ll still face a DUI charge.

Just as state law limits drivers to a .08 blood alcohol content, it limits them to five nanograms of THC, marijuana’s active ingredient, per milliliter of whole blood.

A blood test is the quickest way to tell, but getting one became trickier when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in April that officers must have a warrant to obtain blood samples.

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