State Cannabis Tax To Aid Officials in Fight Against Impaired Driving
LOS ANGELES, Calif. (Dec. 29, 2020) — Some $27 million collected by the state from the cultivation and sale of cannabis and cannabis products will be used to help communities combat impaired driving.
The California Highway Patrol said the grants will allow the CHP to work in collaboration with local traffic safety stakeholders to address impaired driving issues. Additionally, the CHP said the money will help to make California roadways a safer for motorists.
Indeed, roughly 42% of drivers who died in 2018 traffic accidents and were also tested by police were found to be positive for legal and illegal drugs, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety’s website.
The CHP said it intends to award grants to eligible law enforcement agencies and toxicology laboratories throughout the state.
The agencies may apply for the grant money starting on January 7 through February 23. The money will be earmarked for programs starting July 1, 2021, officials said.
There will be a virtual workshop held on January 6 for potential grant applicants, according to the CHP.
Legalization of Cannabis in California
Cannabis became legalized in California in 1996 for medical use Compassionate Use Act of 1996 (Proposition 215).
Later the Golden State legalized recreational use in late 2016 when California voters approved the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (Proposition 64).
Drugged Driving in California
The majority of crashes involving DUI drivers are due to alcohol. However, marijuana is the drug most often found in the blood of drivers who are involved in collisions. Prescription drugs are also a common drug that has been linked to drugged driving crashes. Roughly 20 percent of drivers who drove while under the influence in 2016 tested positive for some type of opioid.
Some 20.5 million people who were at least 16 years or older drove under the influence of alcohol in 2018 and 12.6 million drove under the influence of illicit drugs, according to the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH).
Additionally, the survey showed that men are more likely than women to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Also, statistics showed that adults ages 21 to 25 are more likely to get behind the wheel and drive after taking drugs or drinking than drivers who are younger or older than them.
Johnson Attorneys Group is a longtime supporter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). Our law firm does not represent any of the parties mentioned above; nor is it our intent to represent any of the parties. If you would like to contribute to this story, please contact us.
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