But just because smoking weed might be better for your body than drinking (there's not a true consensus on that), that doesn't mean you can safely get behind the wheel after smoking a joint.
Marijuana significantly impairs judgment, motor coordination, and reaction time, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Which is why police are using a new device to check for marijuana usage on the spot. Until now, there hasn't been a breathalyzer-like device to check for marijuana like there is for alcohol. The new device uses a mouth swab to see if a driver had recently smoked marijuana, according to the LA Times.
Police in San Diego used the device for the first time on St. Patrick's Day.
“It’s a huge concern of ours with the legalization of marijuana that we’re going to see an increase in impaired drugged driving,” San Diego police chief Shelley Zimmerman said at a news conference, according to the LA Times.
California legalized marijuana in November. According to the LA Times, 38% of drivers killed in car accidents in California in 2014 tested positive for drugs, both legal and illegal. The device also tests for cocaine, opiates, methamphetamine, amphetamine, methadone, and benzodiazepines, in addition to marijuana.
While it's new to San Diego, the device is already being used by police at DUI check points in places such as Los Angeles, New York, Arizona, and Nevada.
Just a reminder to make sure you have everything you'll need at home before smoking, and to avoid that post-joint munchies driving trip.
Refinery29 in no way encourages illegal activity and would like to remind its readers that marijuana usage continues to be an offense under Federal Law, regardless of state marijuana laws. To learn more, click here.