In the Standard Examiner article, “Driver convicted in deadly crash after testing for THC appealing” (7 Jan 2020), there were misleading and alarming statements cited from the Harrisville PD and State Rep. Steve Waldrip.

First, it was stated that the convicted driver tested positive for THC at a level of 8 ng/ml of blood, which, according to the Harrisville PD report, indicates recent or chronic daily use. There currently is no clear state legal or scientifically accepted THC blood content standard for declaring “recent” or “chronic daily” use. Furthermore, without a comprehensive field sobriety test or other factors that would indicate impairment, such a statement is extremely irrelevant to a case hinging on the driver’s abilities.

The article also stated that State Representative Steve Waldrip is seeking legislation to make penalties tougher for those who drive after using marijuana. Compounding the lacking standard to define or measure recent use, THC can remain detectable in the blood stream for weeks. I vehemently oppose Rep. Waldrip’s proposal to create a law largely in haste that will assess guilt based on weak and/or unrelated conclusions that only favor defense attorneys.

As much sympathy as I have for the victims of the deadly crash, the precedence of this case and any subsequent legislation are worth challenging. Props to the Standard Examiner for covering this story and highlighting contentious details.

Gary Smith


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