Thank goodness that there are various levels of government and voting in order for a legislative proposal to become law. While a controversial bill regarding driving under the influence of marijuana passed through the Senate panel last week, it still has some rounds to go in order to be enacted.
Marijuana advocates and those who generally believe that the government and law enforcement have too much power over their lives won’t just sit by and watch the legislative process without speaking out. Some argue that the science behind the proposed illegal THC level is faulty, meaning that the limit would land legally-abiding marijuana users charged with DUID (Driving Under the Influence of Drugs).
The bill seeks to set a 5-nanogram limit on the amount of THC (the chemical found in marijuana) needed to be in a suspect’s system in order to pursue DUI charges in Colorado. Opponents of this proposed law argue that impairment cannot be adequately determined by THC levels. The chemical supposedly can remain in a long-term user’s system for some time.
Also, measuring the amount of THC in a person’s system requires a blood test. Some worry that law enforcement will begin testing all stopped drivers’ blood for THC just to try to get enough marijuana DUI arrests to pay for the new law should it be passed.
Of course, there are those in support of setting the THC limit, including some law enforcement officers. At this point in Colorado, they basically have to judge the level of impairment on an objective level, and they would find more confidence by having a set limit, as with DUIs related to alcohol. If a THC limit is set here, Colorado would join Ohio, Nevada and Pennsylvania as the few states that have taken that legislative step.
What do you think about this proposed law? Do you trust that the set limit would be fair, or do you have a hunch that arrests would take place where the suspect wasn’t truly too impaired to drive?
Longmont Times-Call: “Colorado Senate committee OKs marijuana DUI standard,” Kristen Wyatt, Feb. 27, 2012