Consider this your 4/20 pot legalization update. House Minority Leader Mark Waller’s bill that would establish limits for people driving in Colorado under the influence of marijuana passed out of the House and was assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Here’s how it works: a driver in Colorado will be considered “under the influence” if blood tests detect five or more nanograms of delta-9-THC in a milliliter of blood. In case you missed D.A.R.E. programs in high school or college, THC is the active ingredient in marijuana that would impair drivers.
There is a loophole for chronic marijuana users. Any driver who reaches five nanograms can argue in court that he or she is not impaired due to tolerance, size or another contributing factor. This loophole was put in place to account for medical marijuana users who are typically above five nanograms.
While Waller has introduced this bill for the past three years, it has piqued the interest of legislators this year possibly due to the recent legalization of marijuana. According to a Colorado House Republicans press release, 13% of traffic fatalities involved marijuana use. Here’s what Waller said about the measure:
“The time to get this bill passed is now This is a critical tool law enforcement needs to ensure the safety of our roads.”
Time is ticking on the session clock. Coloradans will see whether the third time is, in fact, a charm for Waller’s DUHigh bill.