Today Colorado House Bill 1114 passed the state House. If enacted into law, it would set a THC limit in a driver’s blood of 5 nanograms, an arbitrary limit that in no way measures someone’s “impairment.”
Despite heavy opposition from cannabis advocates, the bill is now close to going to the state Senate.
A recent series of tests by a television station in Washington shows quite clearly the uselessness of measuring THC levels in the blood of drivers when trying to determine how well they can operate a motor vehicle.
“This is about traffic safety in the state of Colorado,” said bill sponsor Rep. Rhonda Fields (D-Aurora). “This bill will send a very strong message that no longer can you get behind the wheel after smoking marijuana.”
In other words, many medical marijuana patients will have to choose between their medicine and driving when it’s not necessary.
On a positive note, the current THC/DUI bill would allow those accused to defend themselves. “For example, if you did not exhibit poor driving, you can put that on as evidence to say, ‘Look my driving was not poor, I’m not unsafe to operate a motor vehicle,'” said the bill’s other sponsor, Rep. Mark Waller (R-Colorado Springs).
In any case, better ways to test impairment are needed when you are talking about charging someone with a crime.