KIMT News 3 – Driving under the influence of drugs is a trend that’s happening more and more often, and according to one study, it’s based on one common myth.
Authorities say the number of those arrested for driving under the influence of drugs, like marijuana is slowly rising.
The study focuses on the 25 and under age group as being the most frequent culprits.
Some say it’s due to the growing stigma that drugs like marijuana are not as harmful, since they’ve been legalized in some states.
One local officer says however, that law enforcement now also has a better way of testing these people after they’ve been stopped.
“We used to have a different mandatory reporting and now we’re reporting more accidents basically. We have to report every single accident and whether or not drug use is involved. So, accidents that might not have been reported in past years are being reported now,” said Trooper Mindy Coe, Drug Recognition Expert with the Iowa State Patrol.
A recent study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that one in eight high school seniors admitted to driving after smoking marijuana.
“In general across the country, the stigma of marijuana and cannabis use is really starting to dwindle especially among younger users. So the fact that more younger people are going to be using the drug because there’s less of a stigma associated with it makes sense,” said Trooper Coe.
In Minnesota and in Iowa, marijuana is only being made legal for medicinal use in certain forms and can not be smoked in either state.
Officers say there’s confusion among many who believe all forms of marijuana are legal.