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In search of a meaningful "too high to drive" test

We note on our website the firm yet clearly unsatisfactory "5 ng or greater" standard applicable to drivers in Colorado who are suspected of driving after having smoked marijuana.

We point out at Shazam Kianpour & Associates in Denver that a motorist found to have five nanograms or more of THC in his or her blood system can be destined for legal problems, given the "permissible inference" that a motorist with that level of THC is unlawfully driving under the influence of drugs.

And, as we note on our site, Colorado -- notwithstanding its widely perceived image as a bastion of liberality for pot smokers -- "has some of the toughest limits for DUID" in the country. Being convicted on a DUID charge can bring jail time and a host of other punitive exactions.

Although some police officials might want the public to think that every person who even occasionally exercises his or her legal right to consume recreational marijuana is a nemesis, that is obviously not true. Legions of people who do so are consummately careful about their conduct, including their behind-the-wheel behaviors. Insinuating that any person who advocates legal marijuana use and has even a marginal level of THC in the bloodstream is a roadway danger is nonsensical and akin to a charge that a mere sip or two of beer renders a driver a weapon on a street or highway.

And there is no shortage of pro-marijuana safe-driving advocates across the state. One of them is Cannabis Clinicians Colorado, an organization that was featured in a recent media piece focusing upon the above-cited 5-nanogram standard.

Cannabis Clinicians finds the current law and related inference to have no scientific basis and to have essentially been "pulled out of the air."

The group wants to find an improved and more objective DUID standard that will better protect the rights of Colorado drivers while simultaneously improving road safety.

We'll take a look at its recent efforts in that regard in our next blog post.

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