More drivers positive for pot in state

first_imgSEATTLE — More drivers have been testing positive for marijuana since Washington legalized the drug last year, according to new figures from the State Patrol.In the first six months of 2013, the patrol’s crime lab says, 745 people tested positive for marijuana. Typically, there are about 1,000 positive pot tests on drivers in a full year.It doesn’t necessarily mean there has been a rash of people driving high, said patrol spokesman Bob Calkins. Troopers are looking harder for drivers operating under the influence of pot, and they might be ordering more marijuana blood tests — “We’re testing blood we didn’t test before,” he said.In addition, the overall number of impaired driving cases handled by the patrol doesn’t appear to have risen this year, and should be on track to hit the rough annual average of 20,000 — which could mean that some people are using marijuana instead of alcohol before getting behind the wheel, Calkins said.“They’re still making a very bad decision,” he said.The patrol’s crime lab ran the numbers this month and provided the information to the federal government. The Justice Department announced in August it would not sue to block recreational marijuana sales in Washington and Colorado as long as the states satisfy eight federal law enforcement goals, including keeping pot away from children and the black market — and combatting drugged driving.last_img read more

Read More