Doctor Jim Chirico, the Medical Officer of Health for the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit, has some advice for non-cannabis smokers, also sometimes referred to as passive smokers, who keep company with their ‘weed-friends’, despite the hatred for that smoke.
According to Chirico, a non-user in a room with people smoking marijuana could end up ‘legally impaired’, just because the person was breathing in second-hand smoke. However, there are a lot of factors that will decide the severity of your ‘legal impairment’, viz. number of people smoking inside the room, the size of the room, the concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — the psychoactive compound in cannabis that gets you high — amount of ventilation, etc.
The reason we have been using the term legal in the above paragraphs is that despite not having touched that joint, you may end up testing positive in a roadside test. So, you see the officer wouldn’t believe you and you may be charged with DUI.
For instance, the people often being tested positive this way are the ones who have jobs where they have to “demonstrate abstinence from cannabis” especially if they are subject to random drug testing.
A few more instances where such things are normal are the cases where the poor driver is charged with DUI owing to the second-hand smoke originally coming from the passengers incessantly puffing marijuana with high THC, with windows of the vehicle rolled up.
But, who is the real culprit here? You? Or your friends who were smoking? No! It’s basically the science that fails in such cases to differentiate second-hand smoke from the first one.
Thus, to be on the safe side avoid poorly ventilated environments where marijuana is being smoked. Always remember what Dr Chirico says, “You may not feel the effect of the drug, you may simply have the drug in your system and that’s the issue.”