American Judges Association


Date of this Version



Court Review, Volume 53, Issue 4 (2017)


Copyright American Judges Association. Used by permission.


One of the major consequences of legalizing marijuana is that it can affect drivers on the roadways. Courts across the country are facing issues such as the applicability of the long established standard field sobriety test for alcohol-driving impairment to determine marijuana-driving impairment; the characteristics indicative of marijuana-driving impairment; and the blood nanogram concentration levels that establish marijuana-driving impairment. The Massachusetts Supreme Court was the first state Supreme Court out of the box to address these issues.

On January 6, 2017, the Massachusetts Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Commonwealth v. Gerhardt 1, which required the court to consider several novel questions: