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State Toxicologist: No Spike in Marijuana DUIs

Washington state toxicologist Fiona Couper says there has been no increase in positive blood tests for THC since I-502 went into effect.

Speaking before a legislative hearing in Olympia on Wednesday, Washington toxicologist Fiona Couper said there has not been an increase in marijuana DUIs since I-502 went into effect on Dec. 6, the Associated Press reports.

The new law made it legal for adults 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of marijuana for recreational use and also set a standard for driving under the influence of pot—5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood.

The Redmond Police Department has stopped arresting adults over the age of 21 for misdemeanor marijuana possession and says it intends to follow the state's new de-criminalization law.

Couper told those assembled for the legislative hearing that the state's toxicology lab typically receives about 6,000 blood samples from drivers each year, with approximately 1,000 to 1,100 testing positive for active THC.

The average amount, she said, is about 6 nanograms per milliliter of blood.

Several groups raised concerns about about how local authorities would handle so-called "green DUIs" prior to the passage of I-502, with some medical marijuana advocates saying the limit could lead to increased arrests for patients.

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Do you think marijuana DUIs will increase after I-502 is fully implemented? Why or why not? Tell us in the comments section.

For more coverage of I-502 on Redmond Patch, click here.

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