New MI Field Sobriety Test Bill is a Nightmare for Marijuana Users
A new bill was approved by Governor Snyder Friday (6/24), which will have all of Michigan's marijuana users, be they legal or otherwise, terrified to get behind the wheel... even if they haven't smoked in several days.
Despite there being a clear majority of Michiganders who support marijuana legalization, our Governor recently signed a bill that invalidated more than half of the signatures needed to get it on the ballot this November. We may still see it on the ballot, as the group behind the initiative just filed suit against the state last Thursday, but the question of why the state government continues to willfully and brazenly act in opposition its people's will still remains.
This is nothing new in Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has made it his business to continuously disrupt the medical marijuana community ever since the people voted the program into existence in 2008. In Flint alone we've seen police continue to arrest for possession even after it was decriminalized, and, more recently, several area dispensaries raided and shuttered. Add that to the multiple instances of law abiding medical marijuana users who've had their assets seized by law enforcement without due process, and you've got a pretty good picture of just how little our state government listens to the voice of its people.
A new bill, which was signed into law by Snyder Friday, threatens to take Michigan's consistent violation of its people's constitutional rights to the next level. The law has to do with field sobriety testing for drivers, which adds a new roadside saliva test to detect the presence of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines, and (you guessed it) marijuana in the user. Don't be confused by my opposition to this -- I don't want people high on coke, meth, or even weed out cruising the streets. The problem isn't that they're testing for it, it's with what the test detects, and, more importantly, what it doesn't.
This new roadside drug test doesn't work like a breathalyzer, where the amount of alcohol currently in one's blood is measured, it only tells you that the drug is present, you know, like in a drug test. The issue is that the test can still detect marijuana use several days afterwards, and doesn't indicate any amount or timetable of said usage. If you use medical marijuana every day, it is highly possible that you will always be in a state of "impaired driving" in the eyes of the law, regardless of whether you partake before bedtime, or early in the morning, several hours before you have to be behind the wheel. In other words, there will never not be a time where you're too high to drive legally.
The bill, which you can read in its entirety by clicking here, was approved by Governor Snyder on June 24th, and it will launch under a pilot program. "The five-county pilot program will be used to help determine accuracy and reliability of the tests," Snyder said in a statement. We can hope that they realize how ridiculous this is during the course of the pilot program, but recognizing problems and effectively solving them hasn't been the strong suit of Snyder's administration. I'm really glad I don't smoke anymore -- this is going to be a s***show.