According to Reuters:
In the first six months with pot legal in the state, 745 drivers stopped by police tested positive for the drug’s psychoactive ingredient, THC, in their blood, the data show.
Over half of those were over the state’s new legal limit of 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood.
By contrast, in each of the last two full years, about 1,000 drivers who were pulled over tested positive for THC.
The increase comes despite the fact that recreational-use pot stores will not open in Washington state until next year.
Washington State Patrol spokesman Bob Calkins said the findings, while preliminary, indicate more people may be driving impaired than was the case before Washington and Colorado in January became the first states to legalize recreational use of the drug.
Whether people are driving under the influence of pot, alcohol or prescription drugs, Calkins said, “It all comes back to a bad decision to drive while impaired.”
Interestingly, the number of people pulled over by the State Patrol (on suspicion of driving under the influence of EITHER drugs or alcohol) during the same time period was roughly the same as each of two prior years (they’re not pulling more people over, but more have been testing positive).
A New York Daily News article that covers the situation in Washington State mentioned the following:
Washington State Patrol says it found THC, marijuana’s psychoactive ingredient, in the bloodstream of 745 drivers pulled over this year.
That’s a nine percentage point increase from where we were last year at this time, Sgt. Jason Hicks explained.
“It was previously illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana and it remains illegal,” Mason Tvert, spokesperson for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), told the Daily News.