Secondhand Smoke Could Create Regulatory Headaches
May 20th, 2015
Policy, Top News
A new study found that exposure to secondhand marijuana smoke under unventilated conditions can lead to detectable levels of the drug in urine or blood. In fact, individuals exposed to the smoke may even get a “contact high” to be unable to think clearly, according to a report appearing in LiveScience.
The research team recruited 20 healthy smokers and nonsmokers between the ages of 18 and 45. After collecting samples before the test, smokers and non-smokers underwent two separate hour-long sessions in a closed chamber about the size of a dorm room. Those in the unventilated room tested positive for the drug more than 20 hours later, although those in a ventilated room did not.
These dynamics could have troubling implications given the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana in several U.S. states. For example, a sober driver that lives with a heavy smoker may pass a police exam if tested, leading to potential criminal charges even if they did not possess or smoke the drug. Bystanders in areas where smoking is permitted could also experience a “contact high” in some cases.
The good news is that these situations should be rare under existing state laws, which prohibit smoking in public locations. Lawmakers also remain uncertain about what constitutes “driving high”, but it’s unlikely that secondhand smoke would enable someone to easily reach that level. Many medical marijuana users also consume edibles and other smokeless forms of the drug.
The bad news is that these dynamics are a bit different than cigarette smoking, which could prevent the drug from reaching mainstream acceptance. While cigarette smoke is arguably more harmful, there is no mental impairment when it comes to driving or accomplishing other tasks. Marijuana smoke may always be treated differently, particularly when it comes to potential smoking in public places.
This article was published by CFN Enterprises Inc. (OTCQB: CNFN), owner and operator of CFN Media, the industry’s leading agency and digital financial media network dedicated to the burgeoning CBD and legal cannabis industries. Call +1 (833) 420-CNFN for more information.
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