Baltimore County Police Learn To Spot Cannabis Impairment At Specialized 'Green Lab' Training


A worker packages medical marijuana at a dispensary in California. (Credit: Shutterstock)

BALTIMORE COUNTY - The Baltimore County Police Department is learning about pot. Next week, officers will attend a cannabis-impaired driving lab at the Chesapeake Region Safety Council in Windsor Mill to learn how to detect drivers under the influence of marijuana.

According to the department, the "green lab" training is held six times a year. These specialized training programs aim to educate officers on the signs, symptoms, and behavioral cues associated with cannabis impairment to assist them in identifying and apprehending individuals who may be driving or operating machinery under the influence of cannabis.

The Department partners with the Chesapeake Region Safety Council, which provides a safe space where medically certified cannabis patients can show officers the real-time effects of impairment.

That's right; officers will watch medically certified patients get high in a controlled laboratory setting.

For decades, departments have used "wet labs" to help officers observe and detect alcohol impairment. As law enforcement agencies cope with the legalization of recreational marijuana, many have instituted "Green lab" training to do the same with pot.

After participants consume marijuana, they are used as test subjects for officers trying to determine whether someone is too high to drive, but that's easier said than done.

Breathalyzers and blood-alcohol tests can quantify the impairment of people who drive drunk, but it is more difficult to discern with pot.

A review and discussion between cannabis users, registered students, and law enforcement on whether impairment was determined occurs at the end of the day before cannabis users are transported home.

The Baltimore County Police Department will also be providing employer safety training, which focuses on training employers on detecting an employee who may be under the influence of drugs.

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