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Medical marijuana: THC driving limits sponsor voted for one standard, prefers different one

claire levy photo cropped.jpg
Claire Levy.
Update: Last week, we spoke to Representative Claire Levy, sponsor of a bill to set THC driving limits. She had originally set the standard at 5 nanograms per milliliter of blood; then, after listening to the concerns of medical marijuana community members, she backed an amendment changing the number to 8 nanograms. After the amendment failed, she said she was uncertain if she would vote for the bill with the original number -- but in the end, she wound up doing so. Why?

"I felt, on balance, it was better to have a per se limit set in law than to leave things the way they were," she says. "And I did want to send it on to the Senate, and have the Senate take another look at it."

Does that mean Levy would still feel more comfortable with the limit at 8 nanograms, as opposed to 5 nanograms? Yes -- but she stops short of actively lobbying senators to take up the 8 nanogram cause.

"It's not my place as a member of the House to tell the senators what to do," she maintains. "But if anybody asked me what I thought about it, I would tell them I offered that [the 8 nanogram standard] in the House, that I thought it was supportable, and that I'd support it if it came out of the Senate that way."

For more details, check out our earlier coverage, seen here.

Update below original item, published on the morning of March 23: There's been an unusual turn of events regarding HB 1261, a bill to impose THC driving limits.

Sponsoring Representative Claire Levy is now unsure if she can support the measure, even though little about the legislation has changed. Why? She's having doubts about the THC level she initially defended.

HB 1261 establishes an impairment limit of 5 nanograms of THC per mililiter of blood -- a standard Levy portrayed as fair in a Westword interview linked above. However, many medical marijuana advocates disagreed with the digit at a hearing earlier this month, arguing that patients who naturally have higher THC levels may be unable to drive at all if the rule is imposed. Another opponent, attorney Rob Corry, argued that the measure violated both the Colorado constitution and the Americans With Disabilities Act, because it discriminated against those using MMJ under a doctor's recommendation.

Levy listened to these complaints.

"There was enough concern in the medical marijuana community about the impact of a per se limit, and enough uncertainty in the research about the causal relationship between marijuana and accidents, that I thought we should err on the side of caution in this very new kind of legislation," she says.

2011-03-10 023-thumb-565x423.jpg
Courtesy of Cannabis Therapy Institute
A hearing on HB 1261 earlier this month.
Hence, Levy offered an amendment to change the limit from 5 nanograms to 8 nanograms during the proposal's second reading yesterday. But Representative Mark Waller, Levy's co-sponsor on the bill, "opposed it pretty strenuously," she notes, "and the police chiefs were very actively lobbying against it." Moreover, the chair of the House judiciary committee, Representative Bob Gardner, went so far as to suggest moving the bar to 2 nanograms.

"I don't think he was actually serious about that," Levy allows. "But he put 5 nanograms in the title of the bill," in an attempt to "prevent a change in the nanogram levels."

This strategy could backfire. With a third reading in the House likely to take place tomorrow or Friday prior to the bill heading to the Senate, "I cautioned Representative Gardner that changing the title may cause the whole bill to die if there's some sentiment not to have it start out at 5 nanograms. If the title's so tight it can't be changed, the only recourse may just be to kill the bill."

Such an end isn't one Levy favors. "I think there's an intuitive feeling that a limit is appropriate," she says. "I've had a lot of questions about whether the limit in the bill is the right limit, but I think most people don't question the basic premise."

Still, when asked if she might find herself in the position of voting against her own bill because the standard remains at 5 nanograms, she says, "I'm going to have to give it really serious thought. I don't know."

Update, 3:01 p.m. Wednesday, March 23: In the interview above, Levy predicted that the third reading of the bill, before the full House, would take place tomorrow or Friday. In fact, according to the Cannabis Therapy Institute, the measure reached this stage earlier today -- and it passed by a margin of 51-14. Levy was in the majority, choosing in the end to vote in favor of the bill despite her misgivings about the 5 nanogram standard.

More from our Marijuana archive: "Medical Marijuana Industry Group's Michael Elliott on the organization, THC driving limits."

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74 comments
Nix
Nix

Hi all,just to let you know how it is in Europe.if you get caught with ANY metabolytes of marijuana in southwest Germany you get the car stopped for 24 hours, you get 780 euro fee and you have to do blood tests to see exact parameters. They test metabolytes through urine and only get "positive" or "negative", so they are still far away from knowing if you were DUI of weed but you are still treated as if you were.If the bloodtest reveal under 1.0 ng/ml of active thc you get your money back but you get problems with the metabolites and they say you have to prove to be able to drive a car through tests.If they are over (f.e. 1.2 (maybe 24 h without assumption)) you need to do the psicological-medical tests that cost ca. 500 euro extra or more in the next 6 months to show your ability to be able to drive a car. If you pass em you will have to renew your license every 2 year or so, instead of 10, and you need to redo the tests.If you don't start or pass the tests you will loose the permission to drive in Germany and get 180 euro extra fee (lol) and they send everything to your home state in europe (like spain, italy, france etc) and you start over again there. Tests and so on to show the use has stopped or you will directly loose your license. In some states you also have to go to the prefect for the first time to sign that you will never ever be on "drugs" anymore or you will loose your passport (!) and the drivers license. The second time it's direct.On the other side they sell a dutch medicine called Bedrocan at enormous prizes.Have fun taking a look on google images to see what Bedrocan is if you don't know. :) The answer is very simple. - weedThey prescribe 5 grams per day of Bedrocan (!) every 3 months in blocks of 450 g for medical use but if you have 2grams in your pocket you're a dealer and can get severe punishments.If you have 5 plants in your garden you get 6 to 20 years jail.America changed so many lifes in the world with proibitionism, i really hope California can do something to rescue what is still alive and suffers.

CoreyDonahue
CoreyDonahue

Andrew and everyone else don't hope it costs her reelection make it happen. Here are here townhall dates times and location go to them make her town halls about this issue you can't get kicked out of these like at the Capitol, trust me I know. I am going to be at the next one, check CTI's website I am complying a list of all the reps town halls so we can make sure that this is an issue and they have to take a side non of this maybe 5 or maybe 8 I don't know. Make them take a stance on the policy and as the war on drugs is a war on us any support will lose them votes. According to the numbers from the Colorado DOJ and Department of Public Safety Office of Research and Statistics $29,351,427 is spent in Colorado to imprison non-violent drug offenders. And on average, it costs the state over $32,000 to house a prisoner for a year, whereas the average pupil funding is currently around $6,800. So make every meeting about why we are funding the imprisonment of non violent drug offenders at five times the rate we are funding education of our youth. And now they want to make more laws to imprison you no fucking wonder and the police chiefs were very actively lobbying against the 8 ng they want to fill their piggy banks as much as possible.

Levy's Town Hall check CTI's website I will try and keep it updated.

Joint Town Hall Meeting with Representative Dicky Lee Hulinghorse and Representative Deb Gardner on Saturday April 9th, from 10am to 11:30am at the University of Colorado Visual Arts Building, Room 1B-88.

Our final Joint Town Hall of this session will be held at the same time and location on May 14th.

are you kidding me?
are you kidding me?

what a truly screwed up lawmaking system filled with ignorance, ego, and double talk.

Andrew
Andrew

Sorry Representative Claire Levy. Too little too late. I hope this costs you a re-election. Trying to make a name for yourself at the expense of MMJ patients. Shame on you!

Failing to do the necessary research (reading studies, talking to experts, etc) to determine what would be an appropriate per se limit for BEFORE sponsoring a bill, and then continuing to sponsor and vote in favor of the bill even after determining that the per se limit is too low. Is this how our representatives operate? In such a reckless cart-before-horse manner? Shame!

AncientMedicine
AncientMedicine

I am seriously outraged that misguided, ill-informed, and myopic politicians -- like Claire Levy -- and other obsessed medical cannabis prohibitionists continue to conflate their personal use or abuse -- or "experience" with cannabis (whatever the heck that means) -- with the medical use and medical/scientific properties of cannabis.

Basing THC limits on intuitive "hunches" is totally outrageous. There are already laws on the books for driving while impaired on any substance. This bill is totally discriminatory, REDUNDANT and a complete waste of our tax dollars and our reps' time.

Our medical and health policies should not be determined by NANNIES with ZERO EXPERTISE regarding medicinal cannabis, who think their minuscule experience with cannabis (with pot brownies in college?) qualifies them to stand in between a physician and patient. What gall.

Nanny-Dunces.

This bill will side-line thousands of medical cannabis patients and prevent them from ever being able to drive, since many patients who use even small quantities cannabis with any regularity will be over the limit all the time...I wonder if these patients will be allowed to sue for lost wages and for pain and suffering, as they become more "cut-off" from society because of these completely unnecessary, proposed restrictions.

STOP CONFLATING RECREATIONAL ABUSE WITH MEDICAL USE. STOP WASTING OUR TAX DOLLARS FIXATING ON MEDICAL CANNABIS. AND BALANCE THE DAMN BUDGET AND START SOLVING ALL THE UNSOLVED HOMICIDES, FOR STARTERS.

BoulderMMJ
BoulderMMJ

This is some bullshit. You know when someone who has herb just picked up and presents their card to prevent having the mmj taken away, the cop is gonna ask "when the last you smoked" and will do a blood test right there. This is opening a pandora's box and they don't realize what they are doing. I thought Claire Levy was reasonable....she definitely is not an enemy to the mmj community but this may change her reputation.

CoreyDonahue
CoreyDonahue

It is illegal HB-1261 is illegal. Here is U.S. Supreme Court Winston v. Lee, 470 U.S. 753 (1985) No. 83-1334.

"A compelled surgical intrusion into an individual's body for evidence implicates expectations of privacy and security of such magnitude that the intrusion may be "unreasonable" even if likely to produce evidence."

We have a 4th amendment right to privacy upheld by a Supreme Court ruling in to this exact subject. Read the ruling http://supreme.justia.com/us/4... show up in the Senate hearings and demand your rights. If the government of Colorado is going to willfully and with much pomp and circumstance violate your constitutional rights then what protection do any of us have?

endlesswinter
endlesswinter

I was curious about the science and the practical affect. We all have heard wait at least an hour after a drink, but how long after a doob? I found a well cited article featuring clinical studies here: http://www.idmu.co.uk/pdfs/dru... My favorite part -"2.9 Agurell et al studied THC levels in one “heavy marijuana user”. His plasma THC was measured each day for four days before and one hour after smoking one cigarette laced with 10mg radioactively labelled THC, and for 8 days after ceasing all use. Prior to the experiment his plasma THC was roughly 20ng/ml. The levels of labelled and unlabelled THC both rose after smoking each cigarette, indicating that existing THC may be displaced from the fatty tissues as fresh THC is absorbed. The pre-smoking unlabelled (i.e. residual) THC level fell steadily over the period of the experiment (20ng to 9ng to 8ng to 2ng/ml on successive days), still exceeding ten-fold the labelled (i.e. fresh) THC concentration. After 8 days abstinence the levels were 1ng/ml unlabelled, and 0.1ng/ml labelled. The decline during the first period of the experiment, when the subject was smoking 10mg THC per day, indicates that his normal consumption may have exceeded this level, possibly by ten-fold or more, i.e. 100mg THC per day."It seems this guy was only smoking .1 grams a day and after 2 days of not smoking would still be considered impaired under this bill.

Gma8x
Gma8x

Levy is definitely against anything that we people want or that is good for us. So it stands to reason she will be against Medical Marijuana. She needs to be replaced ASAP

Mark Rose
Mark Rose

Claire, I feel you are using this article as cover (Speaking from both sides of mouth) from your constituents as to your true intentions. It's hard to believe you represent Boulder & Gilpin County's citizens on this. This is another law that has been created for a problem that does not exist, because there are already laws on the books that address driving while impaired whether it's alcohol, cannabis, prescription or recreational drugs.

Kathleen Chippi
Kathleen Chippi

Clair--You must feel so dirty right now.

Who used you as the vehicle to create unsubstantiated language and helped get it passed other than law enforcement?

You know those guys who spend more time (1-4 hours to testify, before patients in wheelchairs), at every mmj hearing. Law enforcement ENFORCES. Their NOT supposed to be CREATING laws. So who, other than law enforcement, used you?

My guess is a shower won't help the problem you now have that hopefully kills your chance at re election. I can only do my best to inform Boulder County's residents of your actions to harm their 'privilege' to drive via poor comprehension of actual studies and 1937 reefer madness.

drbob
drbob

Think of how stupid things really are. The metabolite THC acid actually inhibits people from getting high by inhibiting THC's activity. Yet, this compound is the indicator of impairment, when, in the absence of measuring real THC levels, it should be a measure of the lack of impairment.

Most legislators just don't get it. Marijuana is medicine, and necessary to minimize suffering and promote the health of many. Our enlightened legislators have created a law that selectively targets those who are less likely to be impaired do to regular medical use that infrequent users who are more likely to be impaired, but have lower levels of 11-nor-9 delta 9 THC. These scientific facts was all explained by me to Rep Levy. Sadly, she felt it was more important to pass a bad law based what law enforcement said was a good limit, that to pass a good law based on science.

Unlike alcohol, cannabis impairment varies from person to person, but what is clear and unambiguous is that cannabis and alcohol together create synergistic impairment. Sadly, our impaired legislators responded to fear and paranoia rather than facts. With this modis operandi our legislators harm sick people but are satisfied with the illusion/delusion that they have accomplished something worthwhile.

Andrew
Andrew

Thank you Representative Claire Levy and the other fifty members of the Colorado House of Representatives who voted in favor of HB 1261. I feel so much safer knowing that this all important piece of legislation will have absolutely no actual impact on the driving habits MMJ patients. Sure, a few unlucky drivers will receive punishment that they don't deserve for an impairment that they're not experiencing, but screw them, what matters most is that our roads and highways will be free from the dangers of a fictitious problem.

CTI
CTI

HB1261 passed Colorado House of Representatives by a vote of51 to 14 on Wed., March 23. Voting against the measure were 7 Democrats and7 Republicans (22% of the House): Balmer (R), Becker (R), Court (D), Duran(D), Kagan (D), Looper (R), McKinley (R), Nikkel (R), Pace (D), Priolla(R), Rieseberg (D), Solano (D) , Sonnenberg (R), Wilson (D)

In the end, Rep. Levy voted in favor of HB1261.

Get on our email list for updates:http://www.cannabistherapyinst...

CTI
CTI

Bill passed third reading in House today by vote of 51-14. Waiting to see if Levy actually voted against it. Sign up on our email list for updates:http://www.cannabistherapyinst...

Guest
Guest

A big "thank you" to everyone that has spoken out against this bill. There are many reasons this bill should fail. The most important reason imo is that the limit was set arbitrarily, as rob corey kindly pointed out....and the fact that the nanogram limit proposed is all over the place proves this point. A law based on speculation is a law based on ignorance. Please stop discriminating against medical marijuana patients. No other MEDICINE I can think of has laws like this.

C
C

screw the limits. look at what's happening now. what is the case history? putting THC imbibers in the same crowd as drunks is totally wrong. why? why not run some real case history of drivers high and their level of driving mobility. it would no doubt show that this article is completely off base. it looks like another way for cities and state to collect money from innocent people.

CoreyDonahue
CoreyDonahue

Good job everyone keep up the pressure. Even with SAFER, NORMAL, MMP etc. Supporting the bill then telling you to stay home or call and support the bill as below we still have a chance to get rid of a bill that does noting but harm to the people of Colorado.

Hello, my name is __________(your name) and I am from _________(your town). I am calling to ask Rep. ____________(last name of your representative above) to amend HB 1261 when it comes to a floor vote. Currently, the bill creates a per se DUI standard, criminalizing driving with 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood. I’m afraid this will result in unjust convictions. There is very little research on THC levels in the blood of regular users, such as medical marijuana patients, and some may have far greater levels of THC and still be sober. Coloradoans should at least have a chance to prove their innocence and introduce evidence if they pass a roadside sobriety test or can otherwise prove they were not impaired.

Can I count on Rep. __________(last name of representative) to replace the per se DUI limit with a presumption of intoxication in HB 1261?

Thank you for your time.

My take on this was that you should call your rep. and beg for the chance to possibly be able to argue in court that you were not impaired, but if the government takes your blood and tickets you you have already lost.

solar_satellite
solar_satellite

Some legislative version of the Hippocratic Oath incorporating the injunction first not to harm the Law, the polity, and the citizenry must be required of members of the General Assembly, then they might not wreak such havoc on their own reputations while crashing about like a herd of cattle in a china shop.

Claire joined forces with the Greater Fascists to push this idiotic bill, then at the last minute appeared to seize on activist Rico Colibri's proposed limit of 8 ng/ml as a means of compromising on the issue, but she was a most ineffective advocate for her own amendment, even saying something to the effect that she was offering it because patients were "uneasy" about the 5 ng/ml limit of the bill. Levy's waffling was met with predictable opposition -- Rep. McCann of Levy's own Lesser Fascist Party observed that the Police Chiefs did not like the proposal to raise the limit to 8 ng/ml, and the Greater Fascists were positively shrill: Rep. Waller attacked Levy's amendment viciously, and the usually stolid Gardner brayed a counter-amendment to lower the limit to two -- his poor attempt at political theater intended to communicate nothing more than his pique that Levy deviated from the CCJRC's recommendation. There appears to be very little sentiment to remove the per se limit, which is the false stipulation that drivers who have 5 ng/ml of blood are impaired. It would be damaging enough merely to state that such levels indicate relatively recent or substantial use of cannabis, but the General Assembly is determined to promulgate its dim lie as our law.

I must take exception to the claim that "many medical marijuana advocates disagreed with the digit" -- many of us did not; we disagreed that any case based on science had been made that drivers' use of cannabis poses any significant risk to the public. I am very sorry that the facts contradict the "intuitive feeling that a limit is appropriate"; unfortunately, our intuitions and feelings do not always guide us to the best or even rational ends. Colorado has chosen as its representatives people with a dearth of analytic ability but overflowing with feelings arising from their many unexamined misconceptions.

P.S. There was a revealing exchange between Rep. Waller (an attorney), who, in apparently trying to refer to the duration of effect of eaten cannabis, acknowledged that his description of this as the "period of ingestation [sic]" was not correct whereupon Rep. Massey told him (authoritatively but erroneously) that he had meant "period of ingestion". No one is particularly concerned with how long it takes to scarf down a brownie.

Duncan20903
Duncan20903

The trouble with your argument is that probable cause will be established before the blood draw happens. If you refuse a breathalyzer in California you get taken to the phlebotomist for a forced blood draw. To top it off you get the administrative penalties for refusing to take the test on top of a forced blood draw.

It's disingenuous to equate a forced blood draw with forced surgery. Winston v Lee isn't the appropriate precedent. Try Schmerber v California, 1966. Oh for the love of money didn't you even bother to read your link to Winston v Lee? It specifically mentions Schmerber. We're getting nowhere using misrepresentation as a strategy.------------------------------------------------"The United States Supreme Court decided the forced blood draw issue in the landmark case of Schmerber v. California in 1966. This case held that it is permissible for the police to obtain a warrantless taking of a an individual’s blood for the purpose of chemical testing to determine intoxication, provided that the taking of the sample is done in a medically approved manner, after a lawful arrest, and based upon the reasonable belief that the person is intoxicated. If these guidelines are followed, then a forced blood draw does not violate the Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure."

http://www.californiaduihelp.c...------------------------------------------------It really is disappointing to me that so many are arguing against the establishment of per se limits. All you're doing is squandering political capital and fighting a fight that's a guaranteed loser. If you drive so perfectly when you're high what freaking difference does it make? The police will never suspect that you're high, so you won't get tested. Well I suppose you won't be able o hit the joint while you're driving because if the cop smells it you're done. Is it really that hard to wait until you get home, or how about using a 1 hitter so you don't raise a stink? At some point in time you either have to accept that we're going to have to make some compromises. One of the most significant worries that the Know Nothings have is impaired driving and you can argue it for a month of Sundays and you're never going to get them to see it from your point of view.

Unfettered access and use is never going to happen short of Jesus Christ himself showing up to testify that cannabis addled driving is perfectly safe. Even then it would be a close vote.

Boulder Med Cannabis
Boulder Med Cannabis

its just for more publicity. Claire likes seeing her name in the press. No big deal if sick people go through the DUI ringer.

ColoradoMidnightRider
ColoradoMidnightRider

These legislators will soon see as the voters RISE UP to show their angst for current bills and action. Science amd compassion should NOT have to be fought for. Get educated about the Truth today!

solar_satellite
solar_satellite

Dr. Bob, you should have (or perhaps should be thankful you did not) see the looks of excitement and admiration Claire was shooting at "Dr. Timmerman" (old guy with bushy white moustache, supposed expert) who baldly inverted the current state of research regarding cannabis' effect on driving -- from the willingness of such people to lie, I have to suppose that their jobs depend directly on Prohibition -- doesn't the State Toxicologist have something better to do than testify about cannabis 1300 times?

The bill asserts the standard for "tetrahydrocannabinols"; my assumption is that refers only to delta-n tetrahydrocannabinol -- care to elucidate the chemistry and terminology a bit?.

solar_satellite
solar_satellite

One more little lie is nothing in the cess of the C.R.S. but to spend one tenth as much time as the General Assembly has over the past two legislative sessions and to vomit forth such bad and unconstitutional law as it has demonstrates its complete incompetence. Colorado needs other viable political parties besides the Greater and Lesser Fascist Parties. As a first step, I call for every representative who voted against HB11-1261 to leave those parties. Most voters in Colorado are independent, and it is past time that was reflected in the makeup of the General Assembly.

solar_satellite
solar_satellite

Thanks a lot, backwards Boulder!Or is Claire Levy not your true representative?

When does the action begin? Kathleen?

Boulder Med Cannabis
Boulder Med Cannabis

either way, it's her fault. she brought it to the floor.

we'll be voting against her next time around and encouraging all in Boulder to do the same. what a dangerous person!

Guest
Guest

Funny how Amend 20 which is Constitutional states no state,city,law enforcement may deprive patients and all HB-1284,HB-109,HB-1261,and all the other unlawful new laws coming do the opposite I really don't understand why patients don't just form groups and tackle each city then together tackle the state they all be out finding new careers and before they leave office make sure there pensions never make it to them period

Guest
Guest

They should toss it out period and stick with the DUI laws we already have

CoreyDonahue
CoreyDonahue

Second. And not just an enemy of cannabis but of the constitution for sponsoring this bill.

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Some very provocative points, Duncan20903. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

solar_satellite
solar_satellite

P.S. BoulderMMJ reminds me that the conceit that police would apply the law objectively and impartially with respect to drivers who use cannabis, or that patients living in rural Colorado (i.e. most of it) who are often well known to local officers would not be subject to selective enforcement is ridiculous! Please explain why you believe that HB11-1261 will not be wielded by local prohibitionist cops against people they suspect of enjoying cannabis -- at all.

solar_satellite
solar_satellite

You make some good points. In my opinion, a warrant should be required in order to draw blood without permission. The SCOTUS has wrongfully infringed on the Fourth Amendment in many ways. Fascism can hardly be resisted by accepting the dictates of fascists and institutions they have suborned.

A per se limit is coming with a bullet -- that is not a good reason to simply roll over and die. Our problem is that the lawyers leading the General Assembly around by the nose are all too willing to substitute the "intuitive feeling that a limit is appropriate" for science; you, also, fail to acknowledge that the case made for the limit before the House Judiciary Committee was defective for all the false testimony adduced in its support. I did not hear anyone militate for driving while intoxicated at the hearing. Making political compromise is what parties of roughly equal power do -- I do not believe that we have much political capital as such nor do I count the legislators who voted for SB10-109 and HB10-1284 as allies or supporters. My position is simple: proponents of a per se limit need to present good evidence of significant driving impairment attributable to some concentration of THC in blood comparable to that caused by .08% BAL before acting; what we've heard up till now is a mix of alarmism, professional lies, and multifarious assertions of people's "intuitive feeling that a limit is appropriate" over reason, which become self-fulfilling prophecy.

CoreyDonahue
CoreyDonahue

Oh for the love of money didn't you even bother to read your link to Winston v Lee? It specifically mentions Schmerber. We're getting nowhere using misrepresentation as a strategy.

Your right it does,

"The authorities in Schmerber clearly had probable cause to believe that he had been driving while intoxicated, id. at 384 U. S. 768, and to believe that a blood test would provide evidence that was exceptionally probative in confirming this belief. Id. at 384 U. S. 770. Because the case fell within the exigent circumstances exception to the warrant requirement, no warrant was necessary. Ibid. The search was not more intrusive than reasonably necessary to accomplish its goals."

THE EFFECT OF CANNABIS COMPARED WITH ALCOHOL ON DRIVING. Provides no clear evidence that any ng/ml can be scientifically justified thus there can be no probable cause of cannabis intoxication that a forced blood draw could be used to justify arest.

Specifically,

“What 5 ng/mL means in terms of actual impairment is hard to calculate, as THC levels in the blood peak quickly following inhalation then decrease rapidly according to complex pharmacokinetics, making it almost impossible to extrapolate backwards from the concentration of THC at the time of the blood test to the concentration at the time of the traffic accident.”

and more specifically,

The issue is that levels of THC in the blood don't correlate well with levels in the CNS. Alcohol is water-soluble, so it dissolves equally in all the compartments. Levels in blood equals levels in saliva equals levels in spinal fluid equals levels in neurons. THC is fat-soluble, in contrast. Levels in blood quickly redistribute to more fatty myelinated tissues like neurons, then more slowly to even more fatty tissues like fat, which is where it all ends up. So levels in the CNS are increasing even as levels in the blood are dropping. Early blood measurements (like ~20 minutes) are likely tooverestimate levels of impairment, whereas later measurements arelikely to underestimate it.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm...

Schmerber and Lee as well as THE EFFECT OF CANNABIS COMPARED WITH ALCOHOL ON DRIVING support the tabbing of this bill so you can argue all you want but we will win because we are right both scientifically and legally its that simple And just because I like the movie.

"Apples!""Do you like Apples?""Well I got her number, how do you like them apples."

Andrew
Andrew

Yes, but before the voters can RISE UP they must first WAKE UP.

anonymous
anonymous

That would be Dr. David S. Timken, a career prohibitionist from Boulder. The "concerned mother" was another career prohibitionist, Laura Spicer. She appears to hold a prominent position within the Boulder County Democratic Party.

Kathleen Chippi
Kathleen Chippi

Yes, it looks like we need signs outside Clair's quiet Boulder neighborhood. Her neighbors need to know what she is up to. I'm sure many of them will be negatively affected if this passes the senate. She was presented evidence that 5 nanograms was not 'cross the board' scientific and did not apply to daily users BEFORE she submitted the bill and she did it anyway. This 11th hour change of 'emotion' makes me nauseous.

BUT -- I think it is most important patients and all concerned citizens call the senators who have this in committee and ask that only facts are used, not intuition. With scientific evidence and facts we can get this killed in the senate.

Do not listen to Safer or Sensible Colorado or NORML or MMIG about supporting any mmj language or "disrupting the process" by calling your reps with your thoughts--calling or writing your senators IS the process. Don't let MMIG mislead you.

You don't sit here and let them pass shit we then have to fight in court in the future--clearly this 'industry' can't seem to get it's act together enough to cooperatively fund/ support the ONE freaking lawsuit needed to challenge the constitutionality of hb1284 or sb109 once and for all, almost a year after they passed. And I use the word industry lightly, as any REAL INDUSTRY would not be helping in it's own demise. Industry fights for its existence, not it's demise.

Guest
Guest

Good hope she finds a one way to the streets trash belongs in the Allys

Guest
Guest

And when it becomes legal remember the fools which were friends then became foes and make sure they have no way back into the mmj community

CoreyDonahue
CoreyDonahue

Yep, they need to protect their seat at the table of government.

Skip
Skip

 It is probably just a coincident that the counseling firm, Range View Counseling Center, that Ms. Spicer works for is a provider of court ordered drug counseling.

http://rangeviewcounselingcent...

solar_satellite
solar_satellite

Thanks for the correction. I confronted Ms. Spicer outside the hearing room (politely), about her outrageous testimony -- she followed me to respons as Cindy Burbach accused me of conducting a verbal assault and went inside the hearing room to summon a bailiff. Spicer's explanation of why she told her child that it was OK to ride into the crosswalk was that "he's autistic!" (which hardly seems germane, unless it relates to an aggravating circumstance). These two apparently work as a team. I need to know more about what the State of Colorado is getting for Ms. Burbach's salary besides lies about cannabis.

Boulder Med Cannabis
Boulder Med Cannabis

Robert - you can do it in a second online. You can register or change affiliation (or drop affiliation) here https://www.sos.state.co.us/Vo...

You can always change it back later. Changing to I/unaffiliated are stats that freak the Ds n Rs out.

solar_satellite
solar_satellite

Let me know -- is it wise to telegraph our intentions though?

Any number of legislators want a piece of this stupid bill, but more than a little galling that a Rep. from Bouder sponsored it. I'm about to drop my lifelong membership in the Democratic Party, so miserable have been the performances of most Democrats in Colorado!

Guest
Guest

She's out to make a name for herself and when it goes wrong she will just blame in on someone else .

Matt in Boulder
Matt in Boulder

So true BMC. I sent Levy an email when I first heard she was contemplating the bill and her response was pretty much along the lines of "well its not perfect, but we need to do something." That's the point I knew we were in a hopeless situation. This bill was all about trying to prove that we're concerned and we're gonna do something about it. Whether that "something" actually solves the "problem" (which has been neither quantified nor isolated) is irrelevant in her thinking.

In my e-mail I pointed out that if she wanted to really focus on the "problem" of drugged driving she would be looking well beyond marijuana and try to find a true roadside test that measures level of impairment - regardless of substance type/quantity consumed. She didn't address that point - most likely because it would represent a true solution, but it would be more work for her and would take time. By then, the current MMJ hysteria may well be over. That approach wouldn't garner the "look at me, I'm making you safer" attention then would it?

solar_satellite
solar_satellite

-- the question before us is whether the fact that Levy opposes her constituents on cannabis important enough to them that they will admonish her or elect someone else to office.

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