Though not ready to follow in the footsteps of California and Colorado entirely, a major change to New York law took place in June of 2019. Though not making sale, growth, and distribution legal, the change allowed for New Yorkers to possess significant quantities of weed without facing charges. It is called decriminalization, and it is the next big step towards full legalization.
One likely byproduct of the change is an increased acceptance of marijuana usage, which will likely result in more people trying and using the drug. Though experts disagree on whether or not the use of marijuana is harmless (some research indicates an uptick in psychosis for those who use it), one thing is inarguable. People under the effects of THC are notably impaired when it comes to executive function.
One of the most important scenarios where this impairment is a factor is when driving. Those who have used marijuana should stick to mass transit and never get behind the wheel. Some of the effects of marijuana that can have a negative effect on the ability to drive safely include:
- Diminished fine and gross motor skills
- Impaired ability to make decisions quickly and accurately
- Dulled reaction time
These changes in function drastically increase the risk of getting into an accident. Just as people who have consumed alcohol legally have had to recognize that just because drinking is legal does not mean that it is always safe, those who are adjusting to decriminalization must do the same.
If you or someone you love has been in a car accident, and you believe the other driver was under the influence, it is important to recognize that changes in law can have a drastic effect on how many people might drive while intoxicated. Please consider reaching out to an experienced attorney regarding your case.