Marijuana In Colorado Leads To Rethinking Of Laws
January 25, 2013 by Sam Rolley
Since Colorado voters opted to legalize marijuana, State lawmakers have deemed it necessary to come up with a plan to navigate the murky legal waters of how to police driving while stoned.
The pressure is on for lawmakers to come up with stoned driving laws, as research published following the passage of the Colorado pot legalization initiative indicates that 13 percent of fatal crashes in the State involved pot.
While the law regarding driving under the influence of alcohol is pretty clear, officials say that proving a person is heavily under the influence of pot is a little tricky. Lawmakers say they will set blood limits for pot intoxication at 5 nanograms of THC — pot’s active ingredient — per milliliter of blood.
Critics of the measure say it will lead to drivers who police claim simply smell like pot being hauled in and given blood tests unnecessarily. Unlike alcohol, there is no breath test to test for pot, so suspects will have their blood drawn and tested.
As the State makes moves to cope with the newly legal substance, legislators and advocates in other States throughout the Nation are looking at the measures passed in Colorado and Washington to plan for legalization pushes in their States. Currently, recreational and medical marijuana-legalization options are being mulled over in New York, Illinois, New Hampshire, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, Hawaii, Rhode Island and Vermont.
Advocates expect a national push to reform marijuana laws to gain steam in the run-up to the 2016 Presidential election, when young voters are expected to show up at the polls in larger numbers.