Virginia Officials Consider Measures To Reduce Stoned Driving

Officials in Virginia are looking for ways to discourage drivers from getting behind the wheel after throwing rocks.

of virginia pilot report “The Virginia Crime Commission — a division of the General Assembly tasked with studying criminal law matters and making recommendations — [has] We discussed some potential steps police and sheriff’s offices could use to crack down on high driving.

“One of the things being considered at the Commission’s Nov. 16 meeting is that officers and agents can swab drivers’ cheeks to collect saliva to test for marijuana and other drugs. “The idea is to change state laws to allow roadside inspection devices that can report this week.

Virginia officials said the “oral fluid test” being considered to detect marijuana poisoning is similar to a “preliminary breath test,” which is a street alcohol test. Although not recognized by the FDA, it can help determine when cannabis has been consumed and, combined with other factors, can yield a probable cause for extensive blood testing,” the publication continued.

Kristen Howard, executive director of the Virginia Crime Commission, said: said to virginia pilot “If you swab someone’s mouth with a cotton swab, you can tell if they are positive or negative. It just gives some indication.”

“Designed to focus on recency of use — how many hours ago did you use this drug?” Howard explained.

The move comes less than a month after a Virginia Cannabis Control Authority (CCA) study showed that many Virginians are accustomed to talking and driving.

About 23% reported consuming marijuana in the past three months, according to the survey, and about 14% of drivers in the state said they had driven high on several occasions in the past year.

The survey also showed that a third believe marijuana improves their ability to drive safely.

Virginia officials sounded alarm bells about the findings.

“These results are alarming and underscore that the General Assembly was right to direct the CCA to conduct a safe driving campaign,” said John Keohane, director of the Cannabis Regulatory Authority. I’m here.

Jeremy Preiss, CCA’s head of regulation, policy and external affairs and chief executive, said the CCA must make the issue a priority.

“As a public safety and public health agency, the CCA is currently focused on creating well-funded, aggressive and sustained campaigns aimed at reducing the incidence of marijuana driving. There are no priorities,” Preiss said.

Virginia legalized recreational cannabis last year, becoming the first southern state to do so.

But it did under Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam. Republicans took back the Governor’s Mansion last year when Glenn Youngkin was elected.

From the outset, Youngkin said he had no interest in repealing the marijuana law, but his election and the Republican Party’s return to control of the state House have hampered its implementation.

The Democratic-controlled state Senate passed a bill earlier this year that would hasten the start of recreational cannabis sales, but the bill was defeated in the House.

Before taking office earlier this year, Youngkin spoke about his vision for the new cannabis program.

“I think there’s a lot of work to be done in terms of commercialization. I’m not against it, but there’s a lot of work to do,” Jonkin said. “There are some non-starters, including mandatory unionization in the current bill. Concerns have been expressed by law enforcement about how the gaps in the law will be enforced in practice. , you need to make sure you are not promoting an anti-competitive industry, and I understand that there is a preference to make sure that all industry participants are qualified to do well in the industry. “

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