In Oklahoma, it’s legal for licensed medical marijuana patients to drive with cannabis in the car, but it’s illegal to drive while impaired by THC. However, marijuana intoxication isn’t easy to measure like alcohol.
A patient may not always be cognizant of impaired driving ability, which is why many law enforcement agencies recommend waiting one to two hours after consuming THC before getting behind the wheel.
In an effort to illustrate the dangers of driving while impaired, a Muskogee medical marijuana business is working with law enforcement agencies for an awareness event Friday.
“It’s the cannabis industry’s job to inform customers about all aspects of marijuana, including the risks of impairment,” said Todd Mitchem, CEO of Oklahoma Natural Grass and Herbal Wellness Extracts. “This engaging experience is designed to educate drivers and law enforcement.”
The event at Muskogee-Davis Regional Airport will let three groups of drivers loose on a coned course; one group will drive after consuming marijuana, one after consuming alcohol and one group that will be texting while driving. A driver’s education instructor will be with each volunteer.
After each round of driving, a law enforcement officer will conduct roadside sobriety exams with participants.
Those with a valid driver’s license and current auto insurance coverage can volunteer to drive the course in one of the three groups. Interested volunteers can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Now that medical marijuana is legal in Oklahoma, it’s imperative that law enforcement officers are trained to recognize the difference between an impaired driver or a driver that is texting and driving,” Muskogee County Sheriff Rob Frazier said in a news release. “We are proud to partner with this organization for driver impairment awareness to all law enforcement and the public in Muskogee County.”
A third party will provide the cannabis and alcohol that participant will consume, according to Oklahoma Natural Grass.
Muskogee police spokesman Lincoln Anderson said the department’s drug recognition experts will be at the event, considered a training tool for law enforcement on impairment.
Oklahoma Natural Grass dispensary opens July 18 at 516 N. Main in Muskogee, with two more locations planned.