Consider how marijuana’s biotransformation may vary depending on the individual and the varying ability of marijuana’s metabolites to cause impairment.

More states in the United States are legalizing the use of medicinal marijuana. Some states have laws that classify a person impaired to drive if an illegal substance or its metabolites are in the body. Marijuana, when it undergoes biotransformation, metabolizes into two different metabolites, Hydroxy-THC and Carboxy-THC. The first causes impairment while the second, although it does not cause impairment, stays in the body for an extended period of time. Consider how marijuana’s biotransformation may vary depending on the individual and the varying ability of marijuana’s metabolites to cause impairment. Do you think that laws that prosecute regardless of the type of metabolite are justified to prosecute for a driving while intoxicated (DWI)? Why, or why not?

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