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This Makes 4 Times: Senators Remain Unconvinced That Marijuana Impairs Like Alcohol

Washington state voters seemed OK with instituting a THC blood limit for drivers when they approved limited legalization measure Initiative 502 last fall. But Colorado lawmakers seem to want a little more proof.

A blood limit for drivers was rejected on Monday in the Colorado Senate for the fourth time. Skepticism on the applicability of alcohol-style THC blood limits helped defeat even a watered-down form of the measure.

The Senate Judiciary Committee, on a 4-1 vote, rejected the blood standard after a long hearing “that has become something of an annual tradition in the Senate,” reports The Associated Press. Each of the past four legislative sessions, the lawmakers have looked at the scientific evidence for and against using marijuana content in the blood to determine if drivers are impaired.

“This is a significant public safety concern,” claimed Matt Durkin, a state assistant attorney who supports the marijuana DUI bill. The bill, like Washington state’s legalization measure I-502, would have limited drivers to five nanograms per milliliter of blood for THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis.

Durkin claimed that recreational marijuana use will rise because of Colorado’s vote last year to defy federal marijuana laws by legalizing small amounts of cannabis for people over 21 years old.

Washington state voters also legalized small amounts of pot for adults last year, but unlike Colorado’s law, Washington’s doesn’t allow home cultivation, and the law includes a 5 ng/ml THC blood limit for drivers.


  • Ratski

    I am sorry to disagree, with this statement: Washington state voters seemed OK with instituting a THC blood limit for drivers when they approved limited legalization measure Initiative 502 last fall. This was a issue that needs to be worked because of THC in blood levels, for a person who daily medacates stay above the 5 Nano gram levels for weeks, even if a person dose not partake for a few days ,there blood levels still exceed, 5 Nano grams, Old news for most of us that use, here in WA, its still a issue that has to be amended, 5 Nano grams far to low, and will lead to un defendable DUI, and it puts every smoker in the state at risk, so no I did not like that part of the law , but I thought it should pass in the election and then fight for some amendments after I-502 passed.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001583783433 Doc O’Zee

      far easier to stiffen, rather than soften, laws. waiting to fix “after the fact” ignores, or is simply naive to, the arduous process of getting “tough law” lawmakers to rescind punitive language. most 502 supporters struck me as less-than savvy to the law making process.

      • http://www.facebook.com/boxingcannabyte.epicurus BoxingCannabyte Epicurus

        That shouldn’t be a surprise, though. People can’t be expected to be experts in law. I’d agree that we all could use more knowledge.

  • t oakley

    Sure wish some of these “geniuses” would get some evidence to back up their claims!! I voted “no” on I-502 because of this ridiculous part of it. Anything the government states as “mandatory” is completely based on ignorance and control.

  • Robert Platshorn

    It will only take one good court case to make the Washington State 5 ng law unenforceable. It will then either be irrelevant or it will be amended. Not so difficult! Courts in other states have already said it won’t work.

  • Robert Platshorn

    The courts in Washington state will force lawmakers there to amend the 5ng driving rule. Negativity by the Doomsday Crew only blocks progress and delays the end of cannabis prohibition. There are two views of every legalization initiative. Vote the positive now and fix the negative afterwards so we can finish this job.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Malcolm-Kyle/100001700224506 Malcolm Kyle

    Here is a graph which indicates that the presence of certain amounts of cannabis in your body actually appears to REDUCE the risk of being involved in an accident:


    Reference: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17916224

    * Fact: When combined 2002 to 2005 data are compared with combined 2006 to 2009 data, the United States as a whole experienced a statistically significant reduction in the rate of past year drugged driving (from 4.8 to 4.3 percent), as did seven States: Alaska, California, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Four of these seven States have legalized medicinal marijuana, Alaska, Hawaii, Michigan and California.


    * Fact: California led the US to a nationwide, statistically significant reduction in the incidence of “drugged” driving during a time period when the number of patients claiming the protection of the California Compassionate Use Act and SB-420 increased by at least a factor of 10.


    * Fact: The Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, Hartford Hospital in Connecticut and the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine document states that MARIJUANA DOES NOT CAUSE DANGEROUS DRIVING: http://peaceandloveism.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=4692

    Google “MARIJUANA DRIVING STUDY”. You’ll see two common findings:

    1. Drivers under the influence of marijuana are VERY SLIGHTLY impaired.

    2. Unlike those under the influence of alcohol, marijuana consumers are aware they are VERY SLIGHTLY impaired and they CONSISTENTLY ADEQUATELY COMPENSATE by slowing down and being a little more cautious. That doesn’t mean they get in the fast lane on the interstate and drive 15 miles per hour. Marijuana makes you cautious, not crazy. – Those Cheech and Chong movies were comedies, NOT documentaries!

    * A comparison of meta-analyses of experimental studies on the impairment of driving-relevant skills by alcohol or cannabis suggests that a THC concentration in the serum of 7–10 ng/ml is correlated with an impairment comparable to that caused by a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.05%.


    * It takes approximately 2-3 hours for your serum THC concentration to fall below 10ng/ml after smoking cannabis (of different strengths). In other words, you’re probably safe to drive after 2-3 hours of using:



    Bear in mind that THC-COOH is the inactive metabolite.

    * Cannabis tends to make you calm and cautious while alcohol makes you reckless and aggressive.


    On 29-Nov-2011, a study was published by University of Colorado Denver Professor Daniel Rees and Montana State University Assistant Professor D. Mark Anderson showing states that have legalized medical marijuana experience fewer fatal car crashes compared to states that have not. The researchers suggest that there may be fewer fatal drunk driving accidents in those jurisdictions because more people may be choosing to smoke marijuana instead of making the more dangerous choice of consuming alcohol – both traffic fatalities and alcohol consumption declined.

    The rate of fatal crashes in which a driver had consumed any alcohol dropped 12% after medical marijuana was legalized, and crashes involving high levels of alcohol consumption fell 14%. The study thoroughly accounted for other contributing factors regarding this decrease, such as changes in the number of miles traveled each year and new traffic laws.

    “Our research suggests that the legalization of medical marijuana reduces traffic fatalities through reducing alcohol consumption by young adults,” – Daniel Rees, professor of economics at the University of Colorado Denver who co-authored the study with D. Mark Anderson, assistant professor of economics at Montana State University.


  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lantz-Dennison/726103447 Lantz Dennison

    Most stoners don’t have the ambition to walk to the car let alone drive it any where. they just want some cake or something lol

  • pause for the cause

    it doesnt impair drivin. i have to smoke b4, durin, and after the drive. the longer the trip the more i bring. weed for me is like yr soda pop, in yr cup holder, or some of u crazies puttin on makeup in the car, how about txtin and drivin. i call bullsh!t if i dont have a bowl in my lap im a nervious wreck. so bullsh!t to bein impaired while stoned!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Louis-Arnold/1189489146 Louis Arnold

    The 5 Nanogram limit is a knee jerk reaction to their losing Amendment 64. It basically means; anyone documented on the Medical Marijuana Registry will be forced to give up their Driver’s license while partaking of the program.

    With MMJ exceeding 21% THC in some instances in pre smoked form one can see the hurdle being faced here. The proponents of the 5 nanogram limit clearly want all MMJ users off the street with an automobile. They are the ultimate in Control Freaks.

  • http://www.facebook.com/vickie.cardellini Vickie Cardellini

    If a person high on weed drives, the higher he feels, the more careful he feels he should be. Weed does not make a person stumbling drunk. It might make a person slower when trying to do a lot of things by memory, but other wise it makes you concentrate on what you are doing.

  • SteveSarich

    Colorado activists have informed me that there will be a FIFTH attempt to get the 5ng per se law passed in Colorado!

  • Zenobia

    But if you have a medical marijuana license in WA, you CAN grow in your home, because medical law still stands under the new law. I can grow 15 plants, legally.

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