Colorado is now looking at a divisive proposal that would set marijuana blood standards for drivers in the state. The Colorado State Senate rejected the idea last year as both sides argued over the science of determining impairment to cannabis through blood tests.
The bill, Senate Bill 117, is similar to last years, setting a 5 nanogram THC blood limit as a way to measure impairment as far as law enforcement goes. Activists argue that blood tests are faulty science at best; they are invasive, discriminatory and inaccurate gauges of levels of impairment. Opponents of legalizing marijuana say that drugged driving is a real threat, that there must be a measurable limit, and that science has shown that 5 nanograms shows recent consumption.
The Federal Government has called for all states to adopt drugged driving standards. Colorado already has drugged driving laws on their books that cover cannabis. Twelve other states have laws creating a THC limit for driving — laws that are known as “per se” laws. Several other states have zero-tolerance driving laws for THC.
The bill made for serious drama today in the Senate. First, it looked like it was killed on a voice vote, but the bill’s sponsor, Senator Steve King, a Republican from Grand Junction, revived the bill for a recorded vote, and it narrowly passed, 18-17. The bill still needs another, recorded vote in the Senate before going over to the House, where it will need another rounds of OK’s before it goes before the governor.