Colorado Pot DUI Bill Makes A Comeback, Though It's Been Rejected 4 Times

Though it's been introduced and rejected in the Colorado state Senate four times in the past three years, the pot DUI bill made a comeback Wednesday.

It was rejected in a Senate committee as recently as Monday due to the bill's recurring controversy over how much THC is too much. But lawmakers worked into Tuesday night to make changes to the bill after lobbyists from the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police voiced concerns.

"If we're going to allow marijuana to be legalized, we must have some standard," the bill's sponsor, Democratic Denver Rep. Dan Pabon said.

In February, the state's 24-member marijuana task force endorsed the bill meant to mirror the drunk driving limit of .08 blood alcohol content except for one significant exception: drivers would be able to argue in court that they are not impaired at the 5 nanogram limit.

Four previous attempts to set a marijuana blood limit for drivers failed in the state Senate and one of the bills' most contested aspects has been the actual limit itself. Opponents have argued that a person's size, tolerance and other factors have an effect on whether or not 5 nanograms of THC would cause driving impairment. Frequent users, like medical marijuana card holders, can surpass that limit even if they haven't been smoking recently.

"I haven't had a car accident since I was 18, and I've had marijuana in my system for most of that time," said marijuana activist Paul Saurini, 39, in a report by The Washington Post.

Meanwhile in Washington, the other state that voted to legalize marijuana, some have argued that the 5 nanogram limit is still too low for a DUI standard.



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