Establish Realistic Standards of Drivers’ Marijuana Impairment

No THC DUI Bill in CO

Target:  Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper

Goal:  Use realistic THC-blood limit standards and roadside tests to determine driver impairment.

The Colorado Senate recently passed a bill establishing the THC-blood limit of 5 nanograms for motorists to qualify for the charge driving under the influence (DUI). Critics cite scientific evidence proving the nanogram limit is too low for regular recreational marijuana users and medical marijuana patients; both types of use are legal under current Colorado law. Please sign this petition urging Governor Hickenlooper to demand a more realistic nanogram limit and roadside test to prevent regular users from being prosecuted unnecessarily.

Establishing a THC-blood limit for Colorado motorists has been on the table and rejected for three years in six different bills. Recently, however, the Colorado Senate passed House Bill 1325 which considers drivers to be too stoned if their THC-blood level is at 5 nanograms or above. People who test above the nanogram allowance will be cited with a driving under the influence (DUI) ticket and face losing their license. Proponents of the bill point to language that allows people to rebut the charge that they were too impaired to drive at the time of citation. The language is meant to quell critics who cite study after study, showing regular marijuana users testing well above the 5 nanogram limit despite not having used marijuana in hours, days or even weeks prior to driving.

Both recreational marijuana use and medical marijuana use are legal in Colorado, thereby putting countless citizens at risk for the expensive and life-altering charges of a DUI. Numerous studies have been compiled showing regular users to test over the 5 nanogram limit and show no signs of impairment behind the wheel. William Breathes, Colorado’s marijuana columnist and regular marijuana user, tested at nearly triple the legal limit fifteen hours after he last smoked, with a doctor declaring him to be sober.

Driving under the influence should be determined by impairment, not by a standard backed by questionable science. Please sign this petition urging Governor Hickenlooper to demand more research to establish a measurable test to determine impairment, rather than rely on an arbitrary number based on politics instead of science. A marijuana impairment bill is necessary; however, it must be rooted in real science to prevent citizens from facing unnecessary legal charges and flooding the legal system with pleas of regular use without impairment.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Governor Hickenlooper,

Recently, the Colorado Senate passed House Bill 1325 which establishes a 5 nanogram THC-blood limit to determine motorists under the influence. Versions of this bill have been rejected 6 times over 3 years due to lack of scientific evidence. New research has not been revealed. Roadside impairment tests particular to marijuana have not been established. How can you sign this into law without anything backing the claims? Please demand that lawmakers return to the drawing board in order to establish a real test of impairment before innocent motorists are forced to flood the courts proving their regular marijuana use and level of impairment at the time of citation.

Medical marijuana use and now recreational marijuana use are both legal in the state of Colorado. While the number of recreational users is unknown, medical patients comprise about 110,000 as of March 31, 2013, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. That leaves a lot of citizens susceptible to driving under the influence charges despite their level of impairment. The 5 nanogram standard is not high enough to cover regular marijuana users. William Breathes tested at nearly three times the legal limit, despite not having used marijuana for 15 hours and being determined sober by a doctor. More research is necessary in order to establish a working number that would keep the streets of Colorado safe as well as prevent unnecessary legal troubles for marijuana users.

Please do not sign HB 1325 into law until the 5 nanogram declaration has been replaced with a roadside test to determine impairment.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: hempbeach via Yahoo

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