Pot's Legal Limits Are Too High

By Liv Grohn on Oct 04, 2016 at 06:20 PM in Public Policy
Pot's Legal Limits Are Too High

Marijuana's THC blood tests prove neither impairment nor sobriety

MORRISON, CO, October 04, 2016

24-7 | PressRelease

Marijuana's 5 nanogram legal driving limit adopted by many states is so high that most people Driving Under the Influence (DUI) of the drug escape prosecution. That's the conclusion of a featured article published in the Journal of Global Drug Policy and Practice, Vol 10, Issue 3. Laws in Washington and Montana state that a driver is guilty of DUI per se if they have 5 nanograms per milliliter of marijuana's psychoactive substance THC in their blood. If the THC level is below 5 nanograms, the driver is not guilty of DUI per se. Rather than proving guilt of DUI, Colorado's 5 nanogram permissible inference law allows a prosecutor to present evidence that a driver was DUI.

"Why a 5 ng THC limit is Bad Public Policy" describes why a DUI per se level, which works so well for alcohol, cannot work for THC. Author Ed Wood proposes alternatives that could better serve the interests of public safety.

Alcohol's .08 BAC DUI per se laws have improved highway safety by making it easier to prosecute drunk drivers. Prosecutors, legislators, and the general public seek a similar per se level to protect the public from stoned drivers as well. But blood tests that are effective for alcohol don't work for marijuana.

Both alcohol or marijuana's THC impair a driver's brain, not a driver's blood. Blood can be easily tested. The brain cannot be. Fortunately, blood is an excellent substitute for testing alcohol in the brain. But blood is not an effective substitute for testing THC in the brain, since it is very unlike alcohol chemically, biologically, and metabolically.

Rather than relying upon a badly flawed 5 nanogram limit for THC, Wood recommends Tandem per se laws such as recently described by the American Automobile Association Research Foundation. He also supports Dual per se laws as recently enacted in England and zero tolerance laws that are the most common means of dealing with drugged driving in the U.S.

The feature article is publicly available at: http://globaldrugpolicy.com/index.html

DUID Victim Voices performs research, education and lobbying in the field of drug-impaired driving (DUID). DUID Victim Voices provides a unique fact-based victim perspective to the DUID discussion. DUID Victim Voices represents the interests of the victims of drugged driving, providing fact-based education and a victim perspective to decision makers and to the general public. 


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