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Commission Proposes Outlawing Driving with Certain Level of THC

The issue of medical marijuana use in Colorado has prompted the Colorado Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice to suggest a proposal which would make it illegal to drive when THC levels in the driver's blood are above a certain level. According to a story in the Aurora Sentinel, the Commission has considered similar proposals in the past but has decided to make it a top priority this year.

Colorado has a Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) law currently on the books that makes it illegal to drive under the influence of drugs that affect the ability to drive "to the slightest degree." The law also dictates that the use of medical marijuana is not a defense. The new proposal would outlaw driving with five nanograms or more of THC per milliliter of blood.

The Commission was established in 2007 and is made up of crime victims, law enforcement personnel and criminal justice experts from across Colorado. They seek to provide policy guidance on such issues as criminal sentencing and measures to reduce recidivism rates.

It is likely that two members of the Commission who sit in the legislature, Sen. John Morse and Rep. Claire Levy, will sponsor the bills to outlaw driving with specific THC levels.

The Commission has already had some successes in seeing their proposals become law. Four of their recommendations from 2008 were signed into law in 2009. These included allowing individuals to keep their drivers' licenses despite some criminal convictions and directing the state to issue summons rather than arrest warrants under certain circumstances.

Source: Aurora Sentinel Medical marijuana among top areas of focus for justice commission in 2011 BRANDON JOHANSSON, January, 2011

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