Colorado is at the vanguard of American states that have liberalized marijuana laws. The allowance given state residents to use pot for recreational and medicinal purposes means that consumers can drive under the influence, correct?
The Colorado Department of Transportation says that "any amount of marijuana consumption puts you at risk of driving impaired" and warns that you cannot judge your own level of impairment. The official DUID threshold for marijuana is five nanograms of active tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), but officers are expected to base DUID arrests on the things they observe that indicate impairment.
A Colorado marijuana advocacy group is, like legions of residents and motorists across the state, less than enthralled with the legal presumption -- the "permissible inference," as termed in our September 8 blog post -- that any motorist with at least five nanograms of THC in his or her blood is driving stoned.
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 noted in a recent blog post the growing frequency with which news reports and stories across the country are focusing upon DUID-related matters. Our April 26 entry stressed that such a development "is only natural, given the steady progression of states that are liberalizing their laws regarding the use of recreational and medicinal marijuana."
DUI-related stories and reports -- emanating from both Colorado and elsewhere across the country -- are increasingly citing data and other information germane to so-called "DUID" (driving under the influence of drugs) offenses.
Initiative 300 could open the door to marijuana use being allowed in any Denver restaurant, bar or business. The Denver Post reports that this may not be a good idea for Colorado, because it could lead to an increase in drugged driving. Drugged driving threatens everyone including the driver, passengers and pedestrians walking on or near the roads.
In Colorado, using marijuana is legal for adults, but that doesn't mean driving under the influence of drugs is. The issue some prosecutors have now brought up is that there is no real test to show how intoxicated a person is by drugs; instead, they have to find other ways to show the person's impairment.