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Too high to drive?

11:59 PM, Apr 16, 2012   |    comments
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WOODSTOCK, Ga. -- Imagine being seriously injured or perhaps even killed by someone driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Now, imagine that driver only being charged with a misdemeanor -- a proverbial slap on the wrist.

It happens more than you think, especially in cases involving marijuana.

Motorcyclist John McLean learned that fact the hard way. He was the victim in a horrific motorcycle crash that nearly killed him. Doctors managed to save his life but were forced to amputate his leg. McLean also lose most of the vision in one eye.

And for nearly two years, McLean says it looked as if the driver police say was responsible for the crash -- Codie Khanamakhom -- might not face felony charges.

The state of Georgia treats traffic offenses involving marijuana differently than those involving alcohol or other illegal drugs. According to the Georgia Supreme Court, prosecutors must prove a defendant's ability to drive was compromised because of the marijuana use.

McLean eventually convinced the Cherokee County District Attorney's Office to indicted Khanamakhom on felony driving under the influence, reckless driving and serious injury by vehicle charges.

McLean has not been able to return to work since the crash, but he has become involved in a number of charitable causes - looking to pay back in some small measure the generosity and support he was shown after the accident.

The victim's website -- http://www.jrmacpromotions.com/ -- highlights the various charitable organizations and benefit rides he's been involved in since the crash.

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