The Michigan State Police won’t test for THC in blood samples, after recognizing that there have been issues with accuracy in testing, reported the Associated Press.
Prosecutors are informed that the new measures would last indefinitely. Shanon Banner, a public affairs director with the Michigan State Police said that the halt will go on “as we work to learn more and/or until we can institute another validated method of testing to ensure accuracy.”
It turns out there was a “discrepancy” in the results from the police lab. Presence of just CBD may have caused positive results for THC, a separate cannabis compound that causes impairment, or the feeling of being "high."
CBD, another naturally occurring compound in cannabis, doesn’t cause a high and is frequently marketed as a dietary supplement. It is legal under federal law, with certain restrictions, but it can be contained in topicals and various personal care products.
Why It Matters
Michigan legalized recreational marijuana in 2018, some 10 years after it had allowed medical use. Driving under cannabis influence is illegal in the state. Nevertheless, the state didn’t establish a limit of THC in blood allowed for driving. In 2019, a commission recommended against it, based on a “poor correlation” between bodily content of the compound and driving impairment.
“Somebody gets pulled over and there’s an accident where someone is hurt or killed,” Mike Nicholas, a defense attorney, told the AP. “It's been a bigger deal since we went medical in 2008. I get more and more cases.”
Nicholas blames the poor equipment the Michigan State Police crime lab possesses to do the testing.
"There is a more sensitive methodology, but those instruments cost a lot more,” he said.
State Police's Banner said that they are trying to resolve the issue.
“We are actively working to identify the scope, but likely won’t have additional information until next week,” Banner concluded.
Photo: Benzinga Edit; Sources: H_Ko and ALDECA studio by Shutterstock
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