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New impaired driving experiment in Muskogee

Posted at 12:19 PM, Jul 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-12 13:19:23-04

MUSKOGEE, Okla. — Two new cannabis companies have partnered with law enforcement for a unique driving experiment, giving officers real world training on spotting drivers who are impaired.

We know that texting, drinking, or using marijuana while driving can be extremely dangerous, but how exactly does it affect the driver?

That’s the question they hope to answer.

In Oklahoma’s first Driver Impairment Awareness Day and first experiment, several volunteers either text, drank, or consumed marijuana over a controlled amount of time.

They then got behind the wheel with the supervision of a driver’s ed instructor and at a slow speed, drove through a coned obstacle course.

The volunteers were then given a sobriety test by the Muskogee County Sheriff’s Office or the Muskogee Police Department.

Kody Shook volunteered for the experiment and said he’s used marijuana for years and said it doesn’t affect him the same way alcohol does.

“For a chronic cannabis user like me to be down at that table is pointless," said Shook. "Now for someone who is new to cannabis and trying to understand the concepts, if you were to do what we were doing today, it would probably floor you and you wouldn’t be able to drive your vehicle. For me to have two beers, is just as bad as someone new to cannabis."

Dispensary owner Todd Mitchem said as a veteran in the cannabis industry, it was crucial for him to set the bar high around standards, safety, and consumer protection.

He also said this is great training for law enforcement to determine if the driver has been drinking or consuming marijuana.

Mitchem plans to make this experiment an annual event

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