After a similar bill to regulate driving while high barely failed last year in the Colorado senate, a law that would consider a 5 ng level of THC in the blood stream grounds for a DUI seems primed to pass in the state.
The fate of the bill hinged on a single vote, that of Sen. Nancy Spence, who changed her vote from last year and allowed the measure to pass by a measure of 18-17. Spence was previously of the opinion that more research needed to be conducted about marijuana and blood levels, but has since changed her opinion because she is “convinced that the time has come for a bright-line standard to determine legal impairment.”
Lawmakers of both parties oppose the bill, stating that because THC is not fat-soluble, it can remain in your system long after you are high, and that people may be unfairly accused of driving under the influence as a result. An attempt was also made to amend the bill to exclude card-carrying patients from being subjected to the same standards, but that attempt was not successful.
From here, the bill will face a formal vote in the state senate, where votes are highly unlikely to change. Then, the new law will get a vote in the house, where it previously passed by a margin of 51-14.
It must be noted that driving with any trace of THC in your bloodstream is illegal under federal law. And, while this law seems to pose a lot of potential risks for medical marijuana patients, no mention is made as to whether a field sobriety test will also be employed and what the basis will be for people having to submit to a blood test for pot. Is anyone who is pulled over now required to have a blood test taken at the discretion of Colorado police?
[Via ABC 7]
What do you think the best method is to reduce unsafe driving while still respecting medical marijuana patients’ rights?