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  1. torachi
    Colorado could soon establish tough new measures to crack down on those who toke and drive.

    Under a proposal expected to be introduced at the Capitol early next year, the state would create a threshold for the amount of THC — the psychoactive component of marijuana — drivers could have in their blood. Anyone who is stopped and tests above that limit would be considered to be driving while stoned.

    Drivers suspected of being impaired by marijuana or other drugs already have to submit to a blood test or face a suspension of their licenses. But the proposed law would set a standard at which the law would presume a driver impaired by marijuana.

    "It will bring some clarity to the issue of whether you are or are not impaired under the influence of marijuana," said state Rep. Claire Levy, a Boulder Democrat who is likely to be one of the proposal's sponsors in the legislature. ". . . There isn't a bright line right now."

    State law already bans driving while under the influence of drugs, but law enforcement officials say the law is vague on how they should establish a suspect is high. That — plus the concern that the state's medical-marijuana explosion could lead to more impaired driving — led members of a subgroup of the Colorado Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice to examine the issue, said Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson, a commission member.

    "It became clear to us that marijuana is an area that had not been given due consideration," he said.

    Gauging impairment

    The proposal, which the full commission endorsed last month, sets the THC threshold at 5 nanograms per milliliter of blood. Robinson said research shows that level is indicative of impairment. Anyone over the threshold would be presumed to be impaired, in the same way any driver with a blood-alcohol content over 0.08 percent is considered to be too drunk to drive.

    Sean McAllister, a lawyer who serves on the commission's drug policy subgroup, said the research doesn't take into account the tolerance level of frequent users. He said he worries that the proposal could unfairly affect medical-marijuana patients, who may be able to have higher THC levels without impairment.

    But, he said, he agrees something needs to be done, and he said he advises patients to wait at least four hours after using marijuana before driving.
    "No responsible advocate of legalization believes that people should be driving high," McAllister said.

    David Kaplan, the state's former top public defender, said he shares concerns over the 5-nanogram level and whether "there was a strong enough correlation on what impact it has on your driving behavior."

    Still, Kaplan, who is the vice chairman of the commission, said he supports the process by which the commission came to its proposal.

    Other states set limits

    If the proposal is adopted, Colorado would not be the first state to set a maximum THC limit for drivers. A number of states have zero-tolerance policies for drivers with THC in their blood. A handful of states, including Pennsylvania, have a 5-nanogram limit for marijuana or its metabolites, according to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML.

    Marijuana advocates and law enforcement officials often clash over how big of a problem stoned driving is.

    A report last month from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration found that at least one in five drivers who were killed in car crashes in 2009 subsequently tested positive for drugs. THC or some other form of marijuana showed up in 1,085 of the 21,798 drivers killed. In Colorado, THC or some other form of marijuana showed up in 26 of the 312 drivers killed that year.

    The commission's proposal will likely be turned into a draft bill and introduced in the legislature during the early part of next year's session, which starts in January. Because it has the backing of the commission, its sponsors are optimistic it will receive a warm reception.

    State Rep. Bob Gardner, a Colorado Springs Republican who is the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, which would likely be first to vote on the proposal, agreed.

    "I think there's a lot of support for that idea," he said.

    By John Ingold
    The Denver Post
    POSTED: 12/05/2010 01:00:00 AM MST
    UPDATED: 12/05/2010 12:05:29 PM MST

    http://www.denverpost.com/news/marijuana/ci_16780152

Comments

  1. Perfectly Insane
    Driving while under the influence of any drugs is a stupid choice. I think that this is a great step towards safer roads.
  2. torachi
    DUI Pot Bill Could Lead to Wrongful Convictions

    DUI Pot Bill Could Lead to Wrongful Convictions

    With national polling showing that nearly one in every two Colorado voters supports ending marijuana prohibition, and an estimated 120,000 residents registered with the state as medical marijuana patients, the debate over pot promises to remain hot as we head into 2011. Next up on the media's radar: a legislative proposal to penalize those who drive while high. Great idea, but could faulty science lead to wrongful convictions?

    As 9News' Adam Schrager reported Thursday, state Rep. Claire Levy, a Boulder Democrat, is championing a plan to treat those who get behind the wheel while under marijuana's influence similar to those who drive drunk.

    Here's the problem. While existing scientific technology can, in most cases, accurately test whether a suspected drunk driver has a blood alcohol level at or above the .08 legal limit, attempts to apply a similar standard to those accused of driving under the influence of marijuana (equal to five nanograms of marijuana's main component, Tetrahydrocannabinol, according Levy's plan), do not provide an accurate assessment of a driver's intoxication.

    When it comes to alcohol, evidence of consumption generally leaves a person's blood stream within eight hours, meaning that if it's in someone's system, chances are very good that consumption came within this time frame. But with marijuana, THC can stay in the human body for 30 days or longer. Also problematic, most jurisdictions do not employ testing that adequately distinguishes between "active" and "inactive" THC (the active ingredient in marijuana).

    THC blood tests are also problematic given that two individuals of identical weight, height, and THC blood levels could demonstrate dramatically different levels of intoxication, a fact tied to differences in frequency of use, strain of marijuana consumed, as well as other biological or medical conditions.

    Also at issue is human error. The Colorado Bureau of Investigation is currently reviewing several dozen blood tests that were used by Colorado Springs prosecutors to charge or convict DUI defendants. While these cases involved alcohol, they demonstrate, at minimum, the flaws that can come from even the most minor testing methods or equipment errors.

    While Colorado Attorney General John Suthers told 9News that "virtually everybody at that (five nanogram) level would be impaired, unsafe to drive an automobile," national experts vehemently disagree.

    According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, "It is difficult to establish a relationship between a person's THC blood or plasma concentration and performance impairing effects."

    The NHTSA also cautions that blood tests may not accurately reflect actual intoxication due to differing impacts tied to various methods of ingestion, most commonly in a smoked or vaporized form, or more recently, through THC-infused edible food products.

    Blood tests don't also account for how frequency of use factors into a person's intoxication. Marijuana is like most other drugs, including everything from caffeine to cocaine, in the sense that a daily user can build up a tolerance to specific amounts, and thus function at a much different level than the once-a-week or once-a-year user.

    Ultimately, the NHTSA concludes that "it is inadvisable to try and predict effects based on blood THC concentrations alone...It is possible for a person to be affected by marijuana use with concentrations of THC in their blood below the limit of detection of the method."

    The devil will be in the details for Suthers and Levy. Suthers says he is motivated by the goal of helping give clarity under the law for all involved, ideally freeing up court dockets now too often clogged with a flurry of experts testifying as to many of the same NHTSA findings expressed above.

    The legislature should proceed with caution. Absent essential protections for the accused, including a right to testing that would accurately distinguish between "active" and "inactive" THC in the blood, as well as the right to have blood retested at a reasonable cost by a certified lab, Colorado's courts could become even more clogged by those defendants wrongly accused and eager to take their cases to trial.

    While the effort to deter drivers from getting behind the wheel while intoxicated is laudable, especially given the recent surge in medical marijuana patient registrations, the wrong bill here could do far more damage than good. As our nation's history has proven time and again, even the most solid of public policy goals can be derailed if faulty or inadequate science is allowed to serve as the foundation for determining guilt. Let's join together to deter and punish driving while high or drunk, and as part of this effort, reject science that won't also exonerate the innocent.

    Jessica Corry
    Denver-based attorney and conservative political strategist
    Posted: December 12, 2010 12:53 PM

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jessica-corry/dui-pot-bill-could-lead-t_b_795521.html
  3. Mick Mouse
    Too high to drive? Colorado considers pot DUI law

    Denver-Colorado is considering setting a blood-test standard for what constitutes driving under the influence of marijuana.

    It is already illegal in all states to drive while impaired by drugs but only a few states have set a measurable benchmark for how much marijuana you can have in your system to be charged with a DUI. The bipartisan proposal from Reps. Claire Levy and Mark Waller would set a limit of 5 nanograms of THC, which is the psychoactive marijuana ingredient.

    The substance would have to be present within two hours of someone being pulled over.

    Colorado's 5-nanogram proposal would be one of the most liberal in the country. Nevada and Ohio have a 2-nanogram limit.

    Some medical marijuana advocates fear that they will be unfairly targeted, but Rep. Levy says the bill is about public safety.

    www.denverpost.com/fdcp?1298218119468
    Ivan Moreno
    associated Press
    02/20/2011
  4. torachi
    That actually seems very fair.

    Imagine that.
  5. Mick Mouse
    I should have listed my post as an update to your article, but when I started mine, no "similar threads" came up. Sorry about that! I thought you beat me to the post until I saw the dates on the (your) original article. Yours was much more in depth. Props to Torachi, folks! He broke the story first!
  6. raggedy_acid
    So If a I had huge smoke fest one day they would have to wait a few days(weeks) for it to get out of their system before they can drive?

    This is not self incriminating, its a hypothetical question. Thanks for the unnecessary warning.
  7. Mick Mouse
    A driving question for colorado marijuana users

    DENVER-The surge of medical marijuana use in Colorado has started another debate in the state Legislature: What constitutes driving while high?

    Lawmakers are considering setting a DUI blood-content threshold for marijuana that would make Colorado one of three states with such a provision in statute-and one of the most liberal, according to Rep. Claire Levy, one of the bill's sponsors.

    Under the proposal, drivers who test positive for 5 nanograms or more of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, would be considered too impaired to drive if the substance is present in their blood at the time they're pulled over or within two hours.

    Levy, a Democrat from Boulder, said she's gotten resistance from medical marijuana advocates who fear it will restrict patients from using the drug.

    "What I've tried to assure the patient advocates is that we are not talking about sobriety checkpoints, we're not talking about dragnets and massive stops," she said. "They're not going to be stopped if they're driving appropriately."

    While it's already illegal to drive while impaired by drugs, states have taken different approaches to the issue. Twelve states, including Arizona, Michigan, Illinois, Iowa and Rhode Island, have a zero-tolerance policy for driving with any presence of an illegal substance, said Anne Teigen, policy specialist at the National conference of State Legislatures. Minnesota has the same policy, but exempts marijuana.

    Nevada, which is among the 16 states that allow medical marijuana, and Ohio and have a 2 nanogram THC limit for driving. Pennsylvania has a 5 nanogram limit, but that's a state Health Department guideline, which can be introduced in driving violation cases, Teigen said.

    Don Christiansen, the executive director of the County Sheriffs of Colorado, which supports the 5 nanogram THC blood-content benchmark, said he thinks it's a fair way for law enforcement and the public to know how much marijuana you can consume while legally being able to drive-just as there's a limit with alcohol.

    "I think it's fair to tell them the rules to be played by."

    Levy said the amount of marijuana needed to reach the 5 nanogram threshold is hard to quantify, but from what she has been told, "you would have to smoke some very potent marijuana and immediately be stopped and have your blood tested in order to achieve that 5 nanogram level."

    According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, peak THC concentrations are present during the act of smoking and they generally fall to less that 5 nanograms within three hours.

    Pot activists including the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, say they hope marijuana DUI's are not based solely on the amount of the drug that is found in someone's system, but rather on the totality of the case, such as how the person was driving and other observations the officer makes.

    They argue that medical users of the drug may have higher tolerance levels which would allow them to drive or still have trace levels of THC long after they've smoked the drug. Some also worry that medical users may be unfairly targeted.

    "My only concern is that, because medical marijuana is controversial, that we're entering a new phase of not racially profiling, but medical profiling." said Sean McAllister, an attorney at Denver's Cannabis Law Center. McAllister was on a state panel that recommended the 5 nanogram standard, which he said is a fair judge of impairment for most users.

    Not all marijuana advocates agree. "We're concerned the nanogram limit is too low because most medical marijuana patients are going to have higher levels in their bloodstream because of their continued use of medical cannabis," said Laura Kriho, a spokeswoman with the Cannabis Therapy Institute in Colorado.

    Rep. Mark Waller, a Republican who is sponsoring House Bill 1261 with Rep. Levy, said their proposal is meant to set a THC-blood level at which someone is presumed to be too impaired to drive.

    "It's a rebuttable presumption, though," said Waller, adding that drivers won't be automatically guilty of a DUI and will still get a chance to argue their case.

    The bill is yet to come before a committee for a hearing, but Levy said she's already getting a lot of comments from medical marijuana users.

    "I'm getting a lot of push-back, a lot of concern that this will hinder the ability of medical marijuana patients to make use of their medicine," Levy said. She said the bill is about safety, not targeting people who use pot for medical reasons.

    "I'm very supportive of medical use of marijuana," Levy said. "You just can't allow people to be driving when they are high."


    www.denverpost.com/fdcp/1298297634987
    Ivan Moreno
    The Associated Press
    02/20/20
  8. Mick Mouse
    5 nanograms? I wonder if that is total or per specified quantity (decaliter, etc.) of blood. Some of the information that Rep. Levy offers doesn't seem to be correct. For instance, she claims that " you would have to smoke some very potent marijuana and immediately be stopped and have your blood tested in order to achieve that 5 nanogram level". That just doesn't sound right, for some reason.

    Also, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration claims that THC levels peak during the act of smoking, but fall below 5 nanograms within three hours. Again, that doesn't sound right.

    In all of the drug tests that I have ever taken, the cut-off level was 50 nanograms. I don't know what the limits of detection would be on a standard 5 panel, but with these figures, one could get stopped for DUI on the way to work, but once you got there, you could have 10 times that amount of THC in your blood and still not get fired!

    Then, would they test for actual THC or metabolites? Or does that make any difference?

    Can someone more knowledgeble than I weigh in on this with their opinion?
  9. Madhat
    Are they really suggesting that drivers with bloodshot eyes should should submit to a blood test on the spot? Or are they suggesting they should be arrested just in case?

    Some people lose consciousness when even a little bit of their blood leaves their body. Are they really proposing that an unconscious driver is better than a high one?

    I'm all for laws against intoxicated driving, but there just isn't a reasonable test for marijuana yet like a breathalyzer. If someone intoxicated with marijuana is driving recklessly, then I believe a simple "reckless driving" ticket would be sufficient. Otherwise, where's the problem?
  10. salgoud
    That's my State, good ole' Colorado. I love living here, hell I take the bus or ride my bike, no insurance, no gas, no pollution, and no DUID's. When we had the influx of people from California, that's when the driving really got bad. You'd see someone driving bad, and say: "They must be from Cali." Just a joke we used to say. All States will have to do this soon, now that it is legal to possess for those with medical problems. In Colorado, if they pull you over for suspected DUI, they offer a breathalizer, blood test, or urine. When they have pulled me over in the past I always went for the blood test, cause then they have to take you to the hospital, and get someone to draw your blood, and drugs leave the blood first, then into the tissues and are excreted in the urine and feces. But I bet ya those 321 people who where killed, in which 26 had THC in their system, also had alcohol in their system.

    salgoud
  11. raggedy_acid
    My rag doll had a urine test the day after 4/20 a few years back. tested over 100 nano grams. So it does stay longer than 3 hrs.
  12. veritas.socal
    5 nanograms
    here is truth ladies and gentlemen
    swim have smoked mariuana in the past and already served his days in the hole for this one,so a neg rep is double jeopardy. but im saying not what i read on google or erowid, but what Krishna knows to be the truth
    on the evening in question, swim was probably stoned. but somebody said they were piss testing, so everybody started gassing up, drinking h2o to dilute the urine to the point of where its almost impossible to detect the threshhold of 50 ng
    yes, 10 times their proposed amt was the threshhold to detect thc in the urine, people sometimes failed after 8 days of abstinence at this level, but most passed with 5 days clean time. some of us had to gas up daily, since we..they puffed while they were calling names to test. that angered the staff of the prison. it is roumored that the night four superstoners failed, the tests were sent to labcorp in tx and tested at 20ng. i think thats more plausable than thinking chain gang guardz could mastermind a setup of 4 people and not have word leak. all four were guilty, all four flushed, all four passed many times by gassing up
    so 5ng. 5 one-billionths of a gram. they are retarded. someone with a science background in the mmj colorado movement needs to look into this, that granny who puffs before dinner, in order to eat, and takes an edible to sleep, will pop positive days after last medicatiom
    props to torachi for bringing this injustice to light
  13. Terrapinzflyer
    ok- I need someone with more of a handle of the science here to check in- but it is my understanding that detectable levels in the blood drop much more rapidly then urine. (and that it is blood testing that is being discussed in the Colorado law and the limits they are setting)

    According to NORML (no accurate measurements provided) a single use of marijuana is detectable in blood or 12-24hrs, but 1-7 days in urine, and habitual use is detectable in blood for 2-7 days but 7-100 days in urine.

    This graph (again, compliments of NORML) provides a much better visual for the realities being discussed here:

    [​IMG]
  14. Mick Mouse
    I would suggest that the levels differentiate because the THC is fat-soluble, rather than water-soluble. To me, this would indicate that peak THC levels in the blood would drop faster than in the urine, as the body-fat releases absorbed THC slower, thus increasing the detectability in urine as compared to detection in blood levels. Just an opinion, though. After consuming 3 four loko's and a quart of Millers, probably not a very good one!
  15. Mick Mouse
    Colorado pot DUI bill gets first hearing at Capitol

    DENVER-Colorado lawmakers will consider a bill that sets a blood-content thresholdfor what constitutes being too high to drive.


    A House committee will hear the first testimony Thursday on a bill that would allow prosecutors to charge a driver with driving under the influence if they test positive for 5 nanograms or more of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.

    It is already illegal to drive while impaired by drugs. But House Bill 1261 would set one of the most liberal benchmarks in the U.S. at which someone would be considered too impaired to drive after smoking marijuana. Twelve states have a zero-tolerance policy for driving with any presence of an illegal substance. Nevada and Ohio have a 2 nanogram THC limit for driving.


    www.denverpost.com/fdcp?1299764635274
    The Associated Press
    Read House Bill 1261 at http://tinyurl.com/4jz9agx
  16. Mick Mouse
    Bill setting blood-pot level advances.

    A bill cracking down on people who drive while high on marijuana cleared its first hurdle at the state Capital on Thursday.

    The bill would set a limit of THC in the blood-5 nanograms per milliliter-above which a person would be considered too stoned to drive legally. Tetrahydrocannabinol is the psychoactive component of marijuana, and bill supporters equated the 5-nanogram level to the 0.08 percent blood alcohol level that determines driving while drunk.

    "If you test above that limit," said Rep.Claire Levy, a Boulder Democrat who is one of the bill's sponsors, "you would be guilty of the misdemeanor of driving under the influence of drugs."

    After hours of heated testimony, the House Judiciary Committee passed House Bill 1261 in a 6-2 vote.

    It is already against the law to drive while high, and drivers suspected of doing so have to submit to a blood test or face suspension of their licenses. The bill, its sponsors said, would give law enforcement officers a way to quantify precisely when a person is too stoned to drive.

    Across the country, 12 states have zero tolerance laws for blood-THC levels and 2 states have a 2-nanogram limit.

    Cynthia Burbach, a state health department toxicologist, assured lawmakers that the 5-nanogram limit is supported by scientific literature as causing impairment.

    That, however, touched off a fierce debate over what the literature actually says. Supporters and opponents of the bill presented clashing statements from published studies-including some from within the same study-about whether marijuana negatively affects driving.

    Pro-marijuana activists pointed to the scientific debate as a reason to vote down the bill.

    "Table the bill until there is more science." said Scott Greene, the head of Mile High NORML.

    Adding weight to the criticisms were the statements of medical-marijuana patients who worried that their frequent use of marijuana-and the tolerance they've built up-might lead them to test above the 5-nanograms even if they aren't stoned.

    "I'm scared to death that I'm going to go to jail for being intoxicated when I'm really sober," patient Max Montrose said.

    Bill supporters said increased prominence of cannabis in Colorado makes it that much more important for the state to have an explicit law against people who toke and drive. Several said incidents of stoned driving have increased in recent years.

    Laura Spicer, a substance-abuse treatment professional, recounted a close call her son had with an apparently stoned driver while the two of them were bicycling.

    "I yelled at him 'Are you driving high?'" Spicer said. "He said, 'Leave me alone. I have a license.'"

    But supporters said they had no intention of targeting responsible medical-marijuana users, noting that officers must first have a good reason to believe a driver is impaired before demanding a blood test.

    "This is about public safety," 5th Judicial District Attorney Mark Hurlburt said.

    The bill still has several votes to win before it can be signed into law.


    www.denverpost.com/fdcp?1299894678367
    John Ingold
    The Denver Post
    03/11/2011
  17. Terrapinzflyer
    Colo. marijuana DUI bill amended to become study

    DENVER (AP) - Colorado senators on Monday diluted a proposal that would have set the country's most liberal limit for what's legally considered too high to drive, changing the bill so that it effectively becomes a study on the issue of marijuana impairment.

    A subtle tinge of pot smoke permeated a committee room as the senators voted to amend the bill, handing a victory to medical marijuana advocates who argued they would be unfairly targeted.

    Sen. Steve King, 1 of the bill's sponsors, disagreed with committee's decision to have a state commission study what is a proper level to consider a driver impaired.

    "It's a study at the risk of lives," said the Republican from Mesa County.

    It's already illegal in any state to drive while impaired by drugs, but what constitutes impairment is often subjective. The bill proposed to set a blood-content threshold that would allow prosecutors to charge drivers if they have a level of at least 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood. THC is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

    Law enforcement groups support the bill, saying it will provide a benchmark similar to the one that exists for how much alcohol someone can have in the blood while driving.

    Opponents of the legislation argued that there is no clear science that shows what level of THC makes someone too high drive. Medical marijuana advocates also claimed that daily users of the drug develop higher tolerance levels that allow them to drive safely.

    "We're pleased. We finally used science instead of reefer madness to apply a law," said Kathleen Chippi, a member of the Patient and Caregiver Rights Litigation Project.

    States that have set a legal limit for marijuana have taken different approaches.

    Nevada, which allows marijuana use for medical purposes, and Ohio have a limit of 2 nanograms of THC per milliliter for driving. Pennsylvania has a 5 nanogram limit, but unlike Colorado's proposal, it's a state Health Department guideline, which can be introduced in driving violation cases. Twelve states, including Illinois, Arizona, and Rhode Island, have a zero-tolerance policy for driving with any presence of an illegal substance.

    According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, peak THC concentrations are present during the act of smoking and they generally fall to less than 5 nanograms within three hours.

    House Bill 1261 will be heard by another committee before it's considered by the full Senate, and King said it's possible the bill could be changed back to its original form.

    "Mark my words. I have no doubt. There will be fatality accidents as a result of someone driving the influence of THC," King told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee before they voted to amend the bill. "Innocent people will die. This is a health and safety issue for the people of Colorado."

    Colorado is 1 of 16 states that allow marijuana use for medical purposes. Lawmakers proposed the bill as medical marijuana use in the state has skyrocketed over during the last two years.

    Audrey Hatfield, a medical marijuana user from Colorado Springs, said officials should examine state transportation records to find out how many accidents have been caused by pot smokers.

    "We need to find out first if this is such an important public safety issue," she said.

    Tom Raynes, executive director of the Colorado District Attorney's Council, told committee members there have been traffic accidents where the driver was high. He said having a benchmark for marijuana DUIs would help prosecutors gain convictions.

    "Having that number there would give us a better case," he said.



    Associated Press - April 18, 201
    http://www.noco5.com/Global/story.asp?S=14470414
  18. torachi
    A proposal at the state Capitol to set a limit for how stoned is too stoned to drive died Monday night in the Senate.

    In a crucial vote, lawmakers rejected a hard cap on the amount of THC — the psychoactive chemical in marijuana — that drivers could have in their systems above which they would be presumed too high to drive. Instead, a divided Senate sided with medical-marijuana advocates, who urged more study of the proposal.

    "We are being asked to make policy by anecdote," Sen. Shawn Mitchell, R-Broomfield, said in arguing for extra research. ". . . Policy should be well-considered."

    With the teeth of the proposal removed, the Senate later voted to kill the bill, a decision that withstood a subsequent procedural challenge 20-15.

    Sen. Steve King, a Grand Junction Republican who was one of House Bill 1261's sponsors, said failing to set a THC limit would have real consequences. He cited instances of fatal accidents in which the at-fault drivers tested positive for THC.

    "Lives are at risk here," he said.

    But Mitchell said some of those drivers had THC levels below the proposed limit — 5 nanograms per milliliter of blood. Echoing the concerns of a number of lawmakers, Sen. Morgan Carroll, D-Aurora, said she thinks the research is inconclusive about how much THC definitively causes impairment, meaning a 5-nanogram limit might snare sober drivers while allowing stoned ones to go free.

    It will still be illegal to drive while impaired by marijuana in Colorado, Carroll said. The bill would have made it easier for prosecutors to prove a driver's guilt.

    "If you're going to have a shortcut to presuming somebody is impaired, let's make sure the science is established," Carroll said.

    Other lawmakers attacked the bill by arguing that any amount of THC in drivers is too much.

    King responded that the 5-nanogram limit is supported by a number of studies and was vetted by multiple groups. He also called out the medical-marijuana industry for lobbying against the bill while, he said, not working as hard to discourage stoned driving.

    "Why have we never seen them run an ad that says, 'Friends don't let friends drive high'?" King asked.

    Before running aground in the Senate, the THC limit had a relatively easy time in the House, passing 51-14.

    By John Ingold
    The Denver Post

    POSTED: 05/10/2011

    http://www.denverpost.com/news/marijuana/ci_18029342#ixzz1LwV2GhvB
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