Lawmakers Revisit Marijuana DUI Standard
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Lawmakers Revisit Marijuana DUI Standard
Posted by CN Staff on September 15, 2012 at 12:15:46 PT
By Ivan Moreno, The Associated Press
Source: Associated Press
Denver -- A Colorado lawmaker pushing for a marijuana blood-level limit for drivers said Friday he’s arguing for a fourth time because lives are at stake. The bill supported by Mesa County Republican Sen. Steve King would make Colorado the third state in the country to adopt a drivers’ blood standard for THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.Lawmakers have rejected the measure three times, including during a special session earlier this year when it failed in the state Senate on a 17-17 vote.
The Transportation Legislation Review committee is expected to vote Friday on whether to introduce the bill in January.“People are dying on our highways and byways as a result of people driving under the influence of THC, just like with alcohol 20 years ago,” King said.The proposal would limit drivers to 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood.Opponents worry medical marijuana users will be wrongly convicted of driving under the influence. They argue some medical marijuana users can have high THC blood level even when the driver is not impaired, and that the amount stays in their system long after they’ve used the drug.“We risk convicting people of an impaired driving infraction when they’re not actually impaired,” said Michael Elliott, executive director of the Medical Marijuana Industry Group. “That is an injustice that is a major problem.”Elliott said opposition to the bill would decrease if the nanogram-level was increased to 10, where “there’s more guarantee that the person is actually impaired.”Colorado is among 16 states that allow medical marijuana use.Nevada, which allows medical marijuana, and Ohio have a 2 nanogram THC limit for driving. Pennsylvania has a 5 nanogram limit, but that’s a state Health Department guideline, which can be introduced in driving violation cases.Colorado law enforcement and the National Highway Safety Administration say there has been an uptick in drivers in fatal accidents testing positive for marijuana use.Some marijuana activists argue pot-related crash data is incomplete and shouldn’t be used to impose a blood-level limit. They say officer observations, not blood levels, are better for showing a driver is impaired.Source: Associated Press (Wire)Author: Ivan Moreno, The Associated Press Published:  September 15, 2012Copyright: 2012 The Associated PressCannabisNews  -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #5 posted by ekim on September 16, 2012 at 10:18:44 PT
Jesse Venture on Piers Morgan CNN -Mon night
(9:pm Dir TV ch 202)will be in front of a live audience.
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Comment #4 posted by christ on September 16, 2012 at 09:39:17 PT
Washington's I-502
If the opposition wins in rejecting I-502, can't their legislature still enact a 5ng/ml limit? Do you think they would also include I-502 protections? It makes I-502 sound ok when you think about some alternatives. 
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Comment #3 posted by Richard Zuckerman on September 16, 2012 at 07:05:05 PT:
5 ppm in Washington State's I-502:
There are two videos of The Great I-502 Seattle Hempfest Debate, during which the opposition opposed Initiative 502 because the proposed 5 parts per million DUI standard would allegedly be too low in so far as research is ongoing, one of the opponents claimed she had herself tested, that her Cannabinoid content was way above 5 ppm FOR DAYS, and that I-502 would encourage many more DUI convictions. The proponents agreed scientific research is ongoing but explained the 5 ppm is only one factor the jury can consider, that we can still challenge the initial motor vehicle stop, we can still bring in an expert to testify that 5 ppm is too low, and the jury can nevertheless disregard the judge's instructions that the jury may convict based on the threshhold 5 ppm blood Cannabinoid content. [I have personally sent emails out asking for an Initiative petition to circulate in Washington State which would require the trial court judge to fully inform the jury in all criminal cases that the jury may decide the law as well as the facts in determining their verdict and which would require the history of jury rights to be taught in the recently enacted High School Civics class requirement. I sent out a postcard about three days ago to the Washington State Supreme Court law library asking how much money it would cost to photocopy the O'Connell case decided in England in 1884 from 1 Cox's Criminal Cases in which the court says the trial court misinforms the jury that they may only decide the facts of the case].
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Comment #2 posted by The GCW on September 16, 2012 at 04:43:11 PT
Exposing some of the farce.
Let's have a real pot debate
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Comment #1 posted by Quax Mercy on September 15, 2012 at 18:13:29 PT:
Nanograms dancing
We're not meant to be arguing over how many nanograms can dance on the head of a pin or how close a dispensary might be from a school. We're caught in this horror house because of our ongoing schizophrenic divide between the LEOs and the case science, medicine, justice, and economic and ecological good sense have to make. 
   Yet we're about to have a federal hearing as to Cannabis' possible rescheduling, Oct.16th, in ASA v. DEA. I cling to the expectation that a fair hearing will definitively exonerate this plant, finally, & for all.
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