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Michigan Bill Would Allow Roadside Drug Tests

Michigan could become the first state in the nation to drug test drivers if a Republican lawmaker has his way. Last week, Rep. Rick Jones (R-Grand Lodge) announced he was filing a bill that would allow police officers to administer roadside drug tests if they have probable cause.

traffic stop scene, from "10 Rules for Dealing with Police" (buy at
Jones, a former sheriff, said the roadside tests could replace what is now an expensive and time-consuming process. Currently, officers who want to test drivers for drugs must get a search warrant to take a blood sample, which is then tested by backlogged state crime labs.

"A portable drug testing kit would be an extremely powerful tool to keep unsafe drivers off our streets. With a portable kit, officers will know in minutes whether the driver is high on drugs," Jones said in a statement

"The kit has the potential to save a great deal of tax dollars by reducing the need for state crime labs to do many tests," Jones continued. "Patrol officers now have to make a judgment call whether they believe a driver is under the influence of drugs. Science has now caught up with the need, and our patrol officers should have the option of using this valuable public safety tool."

Under the proposal, suspected drugged drivers would have to submit to a preliminary saliva drug test that can detect six kinds of drugs, including marijuana, methamphetamines, and cocaine. If the preliminary test, which produces results in minutes, came back positive, additional testing would occur.

The motivation for Jones' bill appears to be his opposition to the state medical marijuana law, enacted by the will of the voters in 2008. Last month, he introduced a bill that would bar medical marijuana "clubs and bars" throughout the state. In a statement then, the former sheriff worried about "clubs where users could get high and drive away, endangering people."

Jones' legislation is actually a three-part package, with House Bill 6430 covering motor vehicles, HB 6431 covering snowmobiles and ATVs, and HB 6432 covering trains.

[Ed: Along with the civil liberties issues, this proposal deserves scrutiny based on the drug test technology in use as well. Research has found that field drug tests commonly in use by police generate frequent false positives, sometimes from mere exposure to air.]

Lansing, MI
United States
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Saliva drug tests

They are so unreliable. False positives and negatives and they track THC for up to 2 days right? So how is this useful vs. a "walk the line" test? Just another way to create criminals out of good citizens.

Rick Jones is an Asshole!

Seems to me this jackass, Rick Jones, needs to enforce more alcohol related drivers before trying to arrest legal medical marijuana patients! Marijuana users are more alert and aware of their surroundings than someone who has had a few beers. This is just our state being hypocritical about a law WE THE PEOPLE passed. 

Have a root canal on a tooth

Have a root canal on a tooth and your dentist gives you a scrip for a couple vicodens.   Two days later, you forget to turn on your left turn signal and get drug tested and turn up positive.  

Have Chemo on friday, and use some cannabis on friday night and saturday, but drive to the convience store sunday morning to get some milk and your friendly officer notices a brake light is out and tests you, which you turn up positive for.

Neither driver would have been "impaired".   Big brother seems to only be getting bigger.  Your hair is too long, your wearing dark sunglasses, your wobbly from the chemo...  all great reasons to use a new tool to arrest people. 

Cold medications, lack of sleep, mental/emotional issues, and an unlimited supply of other reasons can impair a drivers ability.   Next thing you know, you'll be arrested for driving without getting the mandatory minimum of 5.9 hours of sleep in a twenty-four hour period.

Common sense is not a common trait when it comes to our politicians and drug laws.

So now all medical marijuana

So now all medical marijuana users are going to fail initial test and become tested for additional narcotics.  It's funny how this law only seemed to surface the same time as medical marijuana....hmmmmmm

Rick Jones

Sounds like Jones is begging to lose his job. Campaign money from the prison-industrial complex is slowly drying up. I wonder what his relationship is with the company that makes the test kits.

Personally, I think the "walk the line" test should be adequate for any driver, no matter why they are "impaired". Although, that might defeat the purpose, since very few people would fail it after smoking a little weed.

Jones : He that protesteth too much

I agree....Can't wait until this douchebag is voted out. Jones needs to take a good long look in the mirror. Creep.

If your educated move away from Michigan.

If you vote Republican you support Corporate Fascism or a Pro-Nazi Government. Republicans seem to want more and more regulations and laws and less freedom. Why is that?


Take another look!  Yes, Republicans, in general, are all you claim; but the Democrats are just as bad, they only differ in which freedoms they want to eliminate or restrict.  There are as many prohibitionists among the Democrats as there are among the Republicans.  You cannot rely only on whether there is a D or an R behind a politician's/candidate's name to determine where that person comes down on drug policy (or anything else, for that matter).  If you really want freedom, pray there will be libertarians on your ballot and vote for them.  Beyond that, you must look into the candidate's background, what has s/he said about the issues that concern you; if s/he is an incumbent or formerly held a different office, look at his/her voting record.  Only in this manner (or an actual revolution) will we finally get true representatives who will respect and honor our will as We, the People, when they vote on issues that affect us. 


There may be some prohibitionists amongst democrats, but the numbers are nowhere near as high as they are on the right.  Two of the  biggest reasons I see are the neverending culture war and the fact that biblebeater conservatives want people high on jesus and not on marijuana.  Course, as the dike that is prohibition begins to leak more and more, we will see which party comes out the most in favor of repealing this national disgrace.  There may be some conservatives, but there will be many more democrats.  And you definitely won't see many politicians for legalization from Jesusland (the cesspool south). 

I always laugh when people say there is no difference between the two parties.  Granted, the differences aren't big enough, but they exist if people would just pay attention.  For example, democrats want to regulate the evil corporations and the greed and ruthlessness they stand for while the conservatives want to regulate at the individual level (must turn those pot smoking hippies into clean, well-behaved, conformist, Jesus worshippers), despite all their rhetoric about "getting government out of our lives."

Oh, and the baloney part comes mostly for the idea of voting for libertarians.  When this nation is finally starting to head in the right direction, the last thing we need is to put the extreme-right, lunatic fringe that is the Libertarian Party in positions of power.  I like the idea that they think marijuana should be legalized, but there are better ways to get there than electing this party.  And to all you people who back and follow Ron Paul:  the guy is a complete f***ing nut!  Just like his looney son.  The rupublicans have already adopted elements of the Libertarian platform and it has contributed to the disaster we are now living.  So this November 2nd, reject the misguided Libertarian agenda and all the tea-bagging sheep who espouse it.  Vote Democrat or Green.

Oh, and would somebody please invent a time machine already so we can send this Jones douchebag back to Nazi Germany where he belongs?

You are funny

"I always laugh when people say there is no difference between the two parties.  Granted, the differences aren't big enough, but they exist if people would just pay attention.  For example, democrats want to regulate the evil corporations and the greed and ruthlessness they stand for while the conservatives want to regulate at the individual level..."


The approach to government is the same for both Republicans and Democrats. Even many of the readers of this site are practically peeing their pants in anticipation of taxation and regulation for marijuana in California! Until there is a general recognition that the State is the source of our problems and NOT a means for solving our problems we will  be stuck and unable to move in the direction of rationality and freedom.

In the meantime the other commentor is correct; the Libertarians are not just another option -- they are the only option.

Ron Paul, along with Dennis Kucinich, is one of the only voices of reason in the House. Your screeching about him just comes off as weird. The so-called libertarian wing of the Republican party will never succeed any more than the "progressive" wing of the Democrat party will. Just look at poor Dennis. The head of the bird has the same agenda, a bigger state and more control and regulation. Until he raised MILLIONS of dollars from people who were in resonance with his message Paul was completely marginalized by the mainstream press and members of his own party. We should be so lucky as to have any of his eminently sensible proposals advanced by the Republicans -- ain't happening anytime soon.

The problem isn't Republicans or Democrats; it's Republicans AND Democrats.

What if.....?

What if the very same people you feel obliged to defame are responsible for implementing the change in MJ laws that you espouse?  Will you offer an apology to the Libertarians that grace this comment board?  Good thing we have people on here who research and think. They see through the propaganda you want to rant about!

And, can you please relate to me the laws, based on Libertarian ideals, that you are claiming?  As far as I know, we "nuts" are still fighting "the Man".  Who are you fighting, when you want to divide us up on petty issues? And that is what the issues you talk about seem to be, since you add nothing factual in your rant, to support your unsubstantiated claims.!


Being a right wing Christian, has not kept me from seeing the error of the "religious rights" claims. There is nothing in the Bible prohibiting the use of MJ , any more than there is anything in there about being a tea totaler. The only prohibition in the Bible worked out real well for Adam and Eve, in the garden!


Ad hominum attacks, like you made, only will serve to alienate your opinion from the people that really want change.  What I find most offensive is the fact that you want to use the defamatory term "tea-bagging".  But, just keep ranting! Then people may not be able to understand what you really stand for.

Left and Right

In case you haven't noticed, the establishment republicans are losing one primary after another. There is a big libertarian element in the party that started gaining ground in the last election with the "Ron Paul Revolution". Even Fox News has been coming out against the War on Drugs:

It's not the Republicans, per se, that you have to worry about. It's the Bushesque Neocons that are the problem, and their days are numbered. True conservativism is about smaller government, less laws, and more personal liberty.

BTW, Joe Biden (D) actually invented the Drug Czar (really).

Re: Joe Biden (D) actually invented the Drug Czar (really).

Yes, he did.  In fact, he is the author of the bill which created the ONDCP.  As I said, there are as many prohibitionists in the Democrat party as in the Republican party.  And contrary to what many voters thought, Obama is no friend to legalization, or even to MMJ.

A few FYI's to some of the previous posts

The first post says the tests would track uses in the previous 2 days. Now although that would give you a positive test if you weren't "freshly high" the fact of the matter is driving with any amount of marijuana in your system is considered as driving under then influence of drugs. i.e. If you smoke and marijuana is in your system for a month after you smoke you can not legally drive for the following month legally in the state of Michigan. As for a false positive, if you are found falsely positive all that does is give them problem cause to arrest you and do a "real" drug test, not just a preliminary drug test, where you would be let go afterward because you didn't have anything in your system.


Now chemo/root canal guy. If someone is given Rx drugs and is given the preliminary drug test but also can prove the have a Rx for what they test positive they would not have any charges filled against them. But, some drugs like vicodin say do not drive if under the influence of this drug in which case you would get the DUI. Or in this case medical marijuana, unless you have a special circumstance on your license you cannot drive after using medical marijuana period.

Hope that resolves some questions you guys have an if you have anymore feel free to post and ill try to get back to you.

Not True

The MI Supreme Court recently ruled that pot metabolites are not a controlled substance. Roadside tests for pot won't fly.

Larry the Lawyer

Sorry Larry, I disagree with your thoughts, even if it is the law.  First off, the intent of the laws are to prevent drivers from driving under the influence of substances that have a negative affect on your ability to operate a motor vehicle. That should mean you have to have a level of the substance that causes intoxication, not just any amount.   If the marijuana test is a test for metabolites instead of for a quantity of THC that would cause intoxication, the test is bunk, period, and should not stand up in court.  This is the problem with metabolite tests and why they violate individuals rights.  It is no different than getting fired for having marijuana metabolites in your employment drug test after using legal hemp oil to cook with.  You were never intoxicated, and you were never tested for being intoxicated. Bunk again

If I were a resident of Michigan, I would look up this bill, find out who is listed as the opposition, and write that person or better yet take the time to personally meet with him/her and make them aware of this issue.

If the roadside test actually does test for a level of THC that actually causes intoxication, then I am sorry folks,  I don't want you on the road.  There is nothing you can say to me that gives you the right to risk another persons right to live just because you falsely believe you can operate a motor vehicle fine while under the influence in an amount that causes impairment.

But on the other side of the coin, if you are not intoxicated but have residual in your body, then there is no driving while impaired which was the original intent of those laws, and those laws need to be changed to address this issue.

As far as the Dem Rep thing, it was the Dems who opposed freeing the slaves, and yet most African Americans vote for Dems?  It was the Dems who jailed and tortured the women of suffrage eighty years ago, and most women vote for Dems? The Democratic party was started by rich southern plantation owners, and their money and descendants still control that party today.  They just make the poor people in this country today slaves to government handouts instead.  They are still slaves who only vote for their free checks.  It is the Dems who are breaking the bank by run away spending.  Quit slamming Bush for doing what he needed to do to stop terrorist attacks in America you fools, it worked.  How many American citizens have you heard about who's rights were personally violated by the Bush administration with the changes he made to keep us safe?  I've have never heard of one person saying they were wrongly watched or followed.  Get real and get off your brainwashed hype that the Dems are good and the Reps are bad.  There are bad apples in both parties. Quit believing all the crap the controlled mass media and biased liberal colleges teach.  Read up on the true political history of America before you tell me Republicans don't support constitutional freedoms and smaller government. The biggest problem with American politics is a politician has to swear loyalty to the party platform instead of representing the majority of their constituents first, which is the way it should be and we have no term limits.  It was the present Commander who wanted to ban Fox news from the press core just because they espouse a view he doesn't agree with.  Who is trying to control who here?  Open your eyes and quit being brainwashed.  It was a Democratic president who gave China free trade staus and gave away all our American blue collar jobs, and yet the unions support Dems?


This is the beginning of REAL TROUBLE for people who are on LEGAL medications other than marijuana!! I have arthritis throughout my spine, and am on 2 prescriptions that are opiate based.  (Labels say, respectively:"Use care when driving or operating machinery" and "Do not drive if drowsy")  I do not abuse them, (nor do I drink alcohol AT ALL...), and have been on them for so long that I really no longer feel the "high" effects of them, but they DO control my pain, which is excruciating without the medications -- I am virtually crippled without them. (I also suffer from ordinary allergies like hay fever, dust, etc., which can make my eyes REALLY red & watery. This symptom could easily be mistaken for several kinds of alcohol/drug use.) I'm SURE opiates are one of the "6 categories." Does this mean that people like myself are going to have to worry about running to the grocery store for milk and bread??? Let's suppose for a moment, that it's a really "bad allergy day," and I get stopped for having a tail light out, of which I am unaware -- (my eyes are super red and runny) -- "Hmmm..." thinks the Officer - he's got his "probable cause" right there! AND -- as far as police having "probable cause" to search - if a person says "No, I do NOT give you permission to search my vehicle or belongings," (I'm talking about people who have nothing to worry about, YET -- I often carry one prescription, in the original prescription bottle, in my purse), an officer's next step, once they hear, "NO," is their right to call in the search dogs, who are trained to scent detect many types of drugs, so they wind up having the right to search anyway, even if a driver tells them they don't have permission to. Just watch "Cops" -- this happens EVERY DAY. Most of the time, the officer has already smelled pot on the person's breath, or coming from the vehicle, but if this legislation IS passed, would a driver like myself, on legal medication, with red, "allergy eyes" then be searched, tested, (I can't stand on one foot, or recite the alphabet backwards while STONE SOBER, lol!, let alone a dog smelling the meds in my purse), and, in the end, be arrested for "Driving Under the Influence??" When does this shit stop? We're losing more of our "rights" every day!

Been going on for a while.

Chronic pain patients, as you noted, acclimate to the medications and function normally ( methadone study of ex-heroin addicts, revealed this).  But, as you also noted, the lawyers know better than you or your doctor, what is "illegal" behavior!!

I had patients, allegedly, pulled over and arrested for "drugged" driving because they had a pain prescription bottle in their car!  No documentation of impairment was necessary for the cops pulling this crap!  Again, they are smarter than your doctors!

What saddens me the most about your comment, is the thing you said about the cops searching even though one says "No!".  Looks like we are becoming more of a police state, every day!  "probable cause" my ass!

By the way, you might try something like OTC generic Claritin for those allergies. It is non-sedating, so the cops could not get you fro driving under the influence of that medication. But they could if you take OTC Benadryl!

Bad Idea! Another Reason to Give Cops and Excuse!

I believe this will end up as a violation of our rights .Especially constitutional rights. Just enforce the flipping laws on the books. STOP continuing to change or make 1000's laws that continue to infringe on our life's.

Michigan is close to becoming a socialist society. Cops not following Michigan State Law, Doing as they please. illegally raiding homes, arresting innocent people, threatening them, and also killing them. What a nice place we live in. What a nice State Michigan has become.


Time to move folks.

Roadside drug tests

Yet another way for politicians to get their hands in our pockets.  Sounds down right illegal to me.  They should take this guy out and do a little vigilante style justice on him.  Must be nice to propose laws that he himself will never be subjected to.  Hopefully one of these proposals makes a FELON out of one of his kin.  Jackass.

This Law is Null and Void Already

In 2006, Michigan's Supreme Court ruled that metabolites in the body constituted drugged driving.  In 2010, the same court ruled that the 2006 ruling was a mistake.  This guy is just posturing for political gain on the backs of patients.  His ideas are dead on arrival.  As for the med marijuana law, it is going to take 3/4 of each house to change the law.  Good luck getting all those people to vote to undo a measure that not only passed by 63% but also passed in ever single district.  The situation here is a little tense around this law.  The recent police raids are an unstoppable force looking to move an unmovable object to change the law by arresting as many patients as possible.  People like this guy are not helping anyone.

Here is a link to the court ruling:

Multiple studies - driving stoned <= .05 BAC

Multiple studies including one with actual street driving in Amsterdam have determined that the maximum impairment while driving stoned is on par with that caused by a blood alcohol content of 0.05%, a level which is below the DWI threshold in every state in the USA.  There have also been multiple studies which have found that people who consumed marijuana in the previous several hours were less likely than straight people to end up in an emergency room.  They expected, as with alcohol, that marijuana use would correlate with higher emergency admissions, likely in a dose-dependent manner.  What the data told them was the exact opposite.  The more pot someone smoked, the less likely they were to require emergency care.  This was for ALL reasons - including traffic accidents. 


This is just another excuse for the state to play authoritarian master.  If Rick Jones is serious about wanting to increase the safety of driving in the state of Michigan then his time would be better spent focusing on alcohol related problems.

Meanwhile the infrastructure

Meanwhile the infrastructure continues to rot, and the state continues to hemorrhage jobs..

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