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Illinois General Assembly

As legal marijuana spreads, states struggle with drugged driving

Washington State Patrol Sgt. Mark Crandall half-jokingly said he can tell a driver is under the influence of marijuana during a traffic stop when the motorist becomes overly familiar and is calling him "dude." The truth in the joke, Crandall said, is that attitude and speech patterns can be effective markers for drugged driving. And, according to legalization advocates and some in law enforcement, they can be more reliable than blood tests that measure THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana. When it comes time to go to court, the testimony of an officer trained as a drug recognition expert is often more valuable than a THC test because of disparities in how the drug affects...