University of Phoenix
CRIMINAL JUSTICE POLICY ANALYSIS
January 16, 2011
Policy Analysis I Paper
Driving under the influence of marijuana is a contentious issue that is just recently being acknowledged by criminal justice personnel. Driving under the influence is often connected with driving while intoxicated by alcohol but driving under the influence can refer to driving while intoxicated by other influences, such as pain killers, marijuana or any other illegal substance. Driving or operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of marijuana should be treated with the same penalties as driving while under the influence of alcohol. There are many differing opinions and views on the severity of driving while under the influence of marijuana and the punishments given out for the crime committed. Implementing a criminal justice policy that addresses the problem has been difficult to do because the statistics until recently have not shown the amount of deadly crashes caused by motorists impaired by marijuana. The statistics are now available to show the amount of deadly crashes caused by motorists being impaired by marijuana and the statistics are alarming. In 2009 a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showed that among fatally injured drivers, 18 percent were under the influence of at least one drug. The first step to successfully address the problem with driving while under the influence of marijuana is to make it a regulatory problem. Individual states in the United States of American need to pass laws making it illegal to operate a motor vehicle if there is any detectable amount of drugs in the driver’s blood. Some states have already enacted these laws or laws that make the offence of driving while under the influence of marijuana a crime called “drugged driving.” Driving a motor vehicle while intoxicated by any substance should be illegal and prosecutable in all states...