Maine has always had a solid policy against operating while intoxicated on marijuana. It’s nothing new, and it’s already solid.

First off, an officer has to determine that someone behind the wheel of a vehicle might be intoxicated, by using his professional opinion on the subject. Secondly, an officer can conduct multiple field sobriety tests, including intelligence, speech and hand-eye coordination tests.

In Maine, it is illegal to take any medication that reduces your ability to drive a vehicle while you are driving a vehicle. This includes all drugs. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education programs for children teach that “a drug” is any substance, other than food, that affects your mind or body in any way.)

If someone fails any of the physical intoxication tests that an officer uses, the results are recorded and used against the individual in a court of law.

Marijuana stays in the bloodstream for nearly a month after it’s ingested. So, testing someone’s blood to determine if they’re intoxicated by marijuana makes absolutely no sense. People who are using medicinal marijuana, as allowed by law in our state constitution, constantly have a higher level of THC in their systems than others.

The test doesn’t need to change. If someone is taking their medication properly, they know when they can and cannot be behind the wheel of a vehicle. And if they are intoxicated, they will pay the price.

This includes every drug, running the gamut from cough medicine to coffee, alcohol, heroin and all the legal prescription opiates.

Requiring a separate test for an herbal supplement that calls for a sample of our blood is more than foolish. If an officer can detect intoxication, his years of experience at detection and the recorded evidence of the test failures are already taken quite seriously by the state.