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THC driving bill back on the table for 2013 legislative session

a 100x95 steve king.jpg
Steve King.
For the third year in a row, the Colorado legislature will likely consider a THC driving bill . Late last week, Senator Steve King, a Mesa County Republican, announced that he would sponsor a proposal in the 2013 session to set a per-se limit for how much THC can be in a driver's system before he's considered to be impaired.

This marks the second time that King has pushed such legislation, and the new proposal looks like essentially the same bill that King tried -- and barely failed -- to pass last year. That measure would have limited THC levels to five nanograms per milliliter of blood.

King's most recent bill got a lot of support last year, making it as far as the special session in May, when it lost by one vote because Senator Nancy Spence had left for vacation a day earlier. Spence supported King's proposal and had voted for the bill in the regular session.

King couldn't be reached for comment, but he's declined to speak with Westword in the past on this issue. That might have something to do with our stories on the lack of science behind the bill and the number of medical marijuana patients who would be negatively impacted by a five-nanogram limit.

Two years ago, when the idea for a limit was first kicked around by Representative Claire Levy, Westword sent me to have my THC levels tested -- after I had abstained from smoking for more than a dozen hours. Before the test, a doctor checked me out and deemed me to be "in no way incapacitated" -- but my blood still came out at nearly three times the proposed legal limit.

State Senator Morgan Carroll agrees with my take and has been one of the THC DUI bill's biggest opponents in the legislature. She argued last year that more science needs to be put into decisions like this. "One might think we are debating whether people can drive high in Colorado or not," she said last April. "I'm pretty sure the vote would be 35 to zero if that were the case, but it's not. There is no question that some people at that five-nanogram level would be impaired. But the problem is that there are also folks at that level who aren't impaired."

The new proposal, currently dubbed Bill Five, will be introduced in January; it passed out of the Transportation Legislation Review committee last Friday.

More from our Marijuana archive: "Marijuana: Colorado Education Association opposing Amendment 64" and "Marijuana-grow mold study prompts mislabeled Denver Post letter to the editor with real points."


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26 comments
IcePick
IcePick

I sent Senator King an Email and, like in the case of CommonSense, he never responded.  Clearly Senator King has no interest in science, I'd guess he still believes in creationism. 

Mish Desmarais
Mish Desmarais

It's already against the law. This is just another way to squeeze money out of people. They ignore the science behind it which means they're either complete idiots or they benefit from it by either monetary means or influence. It doesn't serve to protect people anymore than the laws we already have and will end up getting a lot of sober people (mostly patients) a DUI unjustly.

Clayton Capra
Clayton Capra

The sponsor of this bill looks like an out of work early 80's porn star. That stache is scary. That and his obvious ignorance to applying any science or facts to what he's sponsorhing make this extremely scary as if he can pass this what else is not far behind.

CommonSense
CommonSense

I sent Sen. King a letter asking him to participate in the planning and creation of a policy to see if testing patients in a study, in relation to THC/Ng levels can establish a "intoxicated level" based on science.... He has yet to respond to my letter. Glad to see he takes his constituents seriously. Maybe if he wasn't a police officer before his political career, he would have a more unbiased philosophy.

Josh Bradley
Josh Bradley

Too bad most media sources will not focus on how there is no scientific proof for the 5ng/ml level. There should be more mj sympathetic elected officials to combat the nonsense. With as many pro mj people who live here I am constantly amazed at how few are in a position of power. It would be great if it were as easy to set a limit for mj impairment as it is for alcohol...but it is not. That however is no excuse to throw science and facts out of the window (I hate to bring it up but Republicans are famous for it).

Patient
Patient

If Am. 64 passes, you will be guaranteed to have to face this issue again, while the General Assembly is forced to define the new crime created in A64 "driving under the influence of marijuana." Currently, this is all handled under the DUID statutes, but b/c A64 forgot to define "DUI-M", they will force the legislature to do it. Good job, stoners. NO ON 64!

Faycless
Faycless

Oh, and F YOU King dipshit!!!

Faycless
Faycless

Here we freaking go again...THC stays in your system for a long time.....As of now, there is NO accurate way to test for impairment....So, leave us alone and go after the murderous drunk drivers, who are more often than not, repeat offenders!

valstar
valstar

They will not stop till they can get this passed. They will try every year till they get the votes. They are dead set on passing this bill. Lots of money to be made with this bills passage and they want their hands on it.

Patty Leidy
Patty Leidy

If they knew what the hell they we're talking about.....

Benjamin Bradburn
Benjamin Bradburn

They need revenue. If this passes prepare for driving delays in Mesa county.

Stephen At Half Aspen
Stephen At Half Aspen

We're expecting the morons we've elected to put together a reasonable and effective law...haha. Don't hold your breath.

Paul Vincent Saurini
Paul Vincent Saurini

Gee, they don't already have enough in one million pretexts to pull us over in the car and mess with us? We need another reason of 1 million to pull over innocent people and have it attached to an expensive business model? These guys are strapped for cash and need to stop witch hunting. What's the difference between putting people in a prison camp for marijuana or putting them there because of their race? The difference is that the marijuana laws get to blanket many races of people with a totalitarian threat. The difference is that they oppress many races with marijuana policy. The difference is that its worse because it pulls many under one umbrella of bigotry. An umbrella honored by propaganda and endless lies. I don't want to ever hear anyone who calls marijuana SAFER than alcohol say this is ok or they deserve to be admonished.

Paul Vincent Saurini
Paul Vincent Saurini

Already against the law but they don't focus on it. This is one of the things that makes me most angry. Marijuana is NOT ALCOHOL. People are not DRUNK on marijuana. DUI-M is just another extension of prohibition. It's another big business model. What in the world do you mean do I hope it passes? No! Criminalizing people for something way safer than alcohol is another form of discrimination. It's tyranny, so NO. NO! Did you get my answer? NO!

anon
anon

Gil Mobley, MD commented on a toke of the town article about drugged driving laws and seems to know what he is talking about.

 

Gil Mobley, MD Diplomate, American Board of Emergency Medicine Fellow, American College of Emergency Physicians Certified, Medical Review Officer, MROCC Medical Director, Dr. Gil's ImMEDiate Care and Occupational Health Center Springfield, MO cell 417-848-6100

 

Do Drugged Driving Laws Hurt Medical Marijuana Patients?

http://www.tokeofthetown.com/2012/09/do_drugged_driving_laws_hurt_medical_marijuana_pat.php

 

 

Monkey
Monkey

Why must he waste so much time with this? It keeps failing and he keeps bringing it back. How many times will our legislators allow this? Baseball rules seem to work for many, how about a 3 strikes and you're out sort of deal with failed bills. Time to move on and stop wasting my money. 

Jake
Jake

He won't comment because he knows he has no basis for this other than irrational, out of date fears.

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

King did not get the support of the Marijuana Per Se Working Group, established by the Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Jusitice to study precisely this issue.

IcePick
IcePick

@Patient

Donkey you give yourself up when you use a name like "Patient" and then you say "Good job, stoners".  Of course nobody believes you, no matter what name you go by.  You are a horrible skunk.  With clowns like you at the helm it's little wonder we didn't see 911 coming.

 

Yes on 64, it's good for Colorado's children.  Let's stop the lying.

 

The notion that a patient should or would vote "No" on Amendment 64 is ludicrous.  How in the world would their affirmative vote, or the subsequent legislation hurt a patient?  It only helps.  

1_ It drives the cost down.  

2_ It forces sellers to produce higher quality product.  

3_ It allows all adults to hold up to one ounce in the state

4_ It stops the needless arrest of thousands of  people.

 

Any one of those is a good reason.  All together this amendment is unstoppable.

 

Yes on 64, it takes money away from the black market.  (That's one reason Donkey is scared, when the black market is gone his masters will have nobody left to populate their multi-billion dollar privatized prison system and so they will lose state and federal funding and end up with big empty prisons like CSP II.  Making marijuana "legal" takes away law enforcement jobs).

 

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

 @Patient BS!  The statement of purpose of Amendment 64 makes the ridiculous claim that one of its purposes is to maintain the illegality of driving under the influence of cannabis, but this objectionable and pandering phraseology DOES NOT HAVE FORCE OF LAW!  Amendment 64 will have no effect whatsoever on the present illegality of driving under the influence, and people who use cannabis should be bright enough to realize that the issue is potentially dangerous to efforts at reform.  Society has learned much from the experiment of medical cannabis, but old prejudices die hard, and fearmongers like Steve King are proof that Prohibition is not dead.

 

Vote to legalize adults growing and using a little cannabis,

 

*******   Vote Yes on Amendment 64!   *******

IcePick
IcePick

Perhaps he think's he is Noah and God told him to do it?

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

 @Monkey The bill nearly passed last time around. It'll be interesting to see if support has shifted since then. Thanks for the post, Monkey.

IcePick
IcePick

 @Jake He won't comment because he thinks only loser democrats read liberally slanted fish-wrappers like WestWord and based on his lack of response to letters from Coloradan's he doesn't care about us.  

 

Think of him as a little Romney and we are the 47% they know won't support them.

IcePick
IcePick

 @RobertChase Oh see, there you go using things like FACTS again Robert.  There is no place around here for logic ;-)

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

 @IcePick  @Jake Online, Westword can only be used to wrap virtual fish. Thanks for the post, IcePick.

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