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Kzoo defense attorney says state doing 'good job’ looking at issue of impaired driving and marijuana use

Posted at 8:19 PM, Jan 09, 2020

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Criminal defense attorney Sarissa Montague praised law enforcement and state officials for taking a cautious look into the issue of impaired driving and marijuana use, before creating a policy on it.

“It’s a really tough thing to tackle,” Montague said during an interview outside the Allegan County Courthouse Thursday afternoon. “It is very smart to be taking a slow approach to figure out a way to actually stop the behavior that we want to stop.”

Montague, who works at Levine and Levine law office based in Kalamazoo, said that marijuana and alcohol have to be treated independently.

“What is different between alcohol and marijuana is that with alcohol it has been scientifically determined that if you are .08 milligrams Blood Alcohol Content then you’re ability to operate the motor vehicle is influenced,” she said. “That limit has not, and I don’t believe will be, set in Michigan for purposes of marijuana.”

Montague said she believes more time is needed to explore the issue. There’s a number of aspects that need to be considered like how much marijuana consumption is too much, the reasons why it's taken and its' affects on different body types.

Nevertheless, Michigan is taking an appropriate steps, she said.

“Our state is doing a good job looking at the issue carefully slowly, trying to come up with field sobriety tests that might apply to the use of marijuana as opposed to the use of alcohol,” Montague said.