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Connecticut residents: be careful with cannabis and driving

With some states still penalizing the use of recreational marijuana, cannabis proponents in Connecticut and elsewhere are interested in the future of marijuana use as it pertains to the entire country. The laws surrounding cannabis use can be confusing, especially when it pertains to medicinal use or driving with tetrahydrocannabinol in one’s system.

Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the component found in cannabis that causes a high. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explain, THC can remain in a person’s bloodstream for weeks after the last marijuana use. A person can have THC in one’s system long after the high has worn off, which can present complications if a driver is pulled over and ordered to undergo a chemical test. Since the high produced from THC can impair a driver’s perception, reaction time, coordination, judgment and ability to make quick decisions, driving under the influence of marijuana can result in DUI charges. However, with THC remaining for so long in a person’s system, it is possible to get a DUI while being unimpaired.

The Marijuana Policy Project points out that medical marijuana is permitted in Connecticut for those with a valid registration card, while possessing half an ounce or less of marijuana for recreational purposes is considered a civil violation. A poll conducted by Sacred Heart University and Hartford Courant suggests that Connecticut residents support the legalization of cannabis, and supporters say that people are being penalized for a substance that is less harmful than alcohol. It is important to be aware of current laws and to make wise driving decisions after using marijuana, to avoid unnecessary charges.

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