Will Marijuana DUIs Ever Happen?
With 16 states now allowing medical marijuana use, there are several states stepping up to the plate to see that marijuana use is not accepted at the expense of other citizens. This week the Colorado Senate voted for the third time to pass a “DUI” for marijuana amendment. This would allow a blood test to determine the level of marijuana in a driver who appeared “too stoned,” similar to administering a BAC to test alcohol in drunk drivers.
The final vote on Tuesday was 17 to 17 –the Colorado Senate tied and the bill failed again. Those in favor brought evidence that there have been more arrests that related to marijuana use. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also brought data that there have been more drivers involved in fatal accidents in Colorado testing positive for THC.
The bill Tuesday would set laws specifically to limit the amount of marijuana, whether used medically or recreationally, to five nanograms of THC per milliliter in the blood system. This would determine a DUI and charges could be filed on the individual.
Other states, like Ohio, already have a two nanogram limit, while Pennsylvania has a five nanogram limit. A “DUI” driver arrested under the influence of marijuana would need a DUI attorney just as a DUI drunk driver.
The opposing side stated that 90 percent of all DUI arrests, whether from alcohol or drugs is being successfully convicted, so why enter another legal limit. Basically, the argument is ‘impaired driving is impaired driving,’ and should not be tolerated at anytime.
Democratic Senator Pat Steadman’s opinion was that the roads would not be made any safer with this law in place. Times have changed dramatically in thirty years, when an alcohol DUI was sometimes just a $300 fine.