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Video: Driving-stoned blood tests all over the map in CBS4 report

Categories: Marijuana, Media

marijuana.driving.cbs4.blood.test.jpg
An image from the CBS4 report.
According to Ackerman, the station worked with local dispensaries to identify three individuals willing to take part in the test. Each one of the trio wound up having his or her blood tested four separate times -- once prior to the first driving test, conducted at a Master Drive range, then three additional times after marijuana consumption.

The participants are all regular marijuana users, and each suspected that he or she would register over five nanograms when sober as a result. (They abstained from marijuana use on the day in question until the test got underway, at around 11 a.m.) Yet two of the three were under the soon-to-be legal standard: One registered at 1.4 nanograms, another at 1.8 nanograms.

The third, however, checked in at 11.2 nanograms, more than double the limit, even though she hadn't smoked since the night before.

During the first test, which was intended to establish a baseline, the three participants did fairly well on a challenging course with which a CBS4 employee who navigated it as a control subject also had difficulties. But that employee did successively better during each subsequent drive, while the skills of the other three tended to deteriorate.

Granted, they smoked before the additional tests. Before the second drive, Ackerman says they were instructed to use cannabis until they could feel it -- a point that might be equated to someone who knows when to stop drinking alcohol in order not to exceed the .08 blood-alcohol-content mark for legal intoxication. But all the marijuana users blew past five nanograms.

"They were way over," Ackerman says, adding, "I think there's a decent awareness of where people's personal .08 would be, but as far as pot users, I don't think they have any idea where five nanograms is."

marijuana.driving.cbs4.1.jpg
Another screen shot from the report.
These specific results, and those of the tests that followed, will be shared on the CBS4 website once the 10 p.m. offering airs. But from Ackerman's perspective, "it's too soon to tell" whether the five nanogram limit will turn out to be a useful way of determining marijuana intoxication, or if innocent people will wind up being convicted.

He notes that in the case of two participants, who stopped smoking after reaching what they considered their "high point," their blood THC "plateaued after test two and rapidly came down. And who knows what that means as far as the real world, when a police officer pulls someone over. For our test, we waited for fifteen minutes to let the marijuana set in, but it might take a lot longer during a traffic stop for a police officer to actually get a blood test done. Who knows where five nanograms would come into play with that...."

Here's a preview of the CBS4 report:

More from our Marijuana archive circa February 2013: "Driving-while-stoned videos help fuel momentum of THC driving bill."



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41 comments
Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

Young people across the nation WANT to come to Colorado, where marijuana IS 'legal' !!!

Those idiots DON'T live here & have an excuse . They DIDN'T vote 'YES' on Amd64 ....

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

This argument has gotten so far past old .

What's the current opinion of heroin ?

Has it become 'acceptable' during the distraction of these ridiculous marijuana debates ?

Is it 'Bong-Hitable' ???

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

Will people be able to resort to riding lawn-mowers or tractors, once they have lost their license ?

What about horses ? Ride horses to and from the office at the bank each day .

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

"But from Ackerman's perspective, 'it's too soon to tell' whether the five nanogram limit will turn out to be a useful way of determining marijuana intoxication, or if innocent people will wind up being convicted."

Of course, that disregards the point that one of the three subjects showed up at twice the legal limit after not medicating that day, and passed the driving test. This is exactly the main point. If, for some reason, that person were targeted and tested, that person probably would have little chance of avoiding legal trouble, which is a tragedy for anyone who poses no harm to anyone else.

jmpmk2
jmpmk2

"But given that marijuana reacts differently in each user, how accurately does the five nanogram rule establish impairment?"

The same argument can be made for alcohol; yet we have decided, as a society, that a hard guideline better protects the driving public rather than relying on a driver's personal tolerance for alcohol.  We all know people who are highly functioning above the legal driving limit, and we all know people who become bumbling, slurring idiots well before anyone else would, but the law can't discriminate by one's personal tolerance -- that's not how it works.

Marijuana users crack me up how invincible they think they are.  I can't count how many times I've been in a car with even a high-functioning user who was smoking, or had just burned a bowl before he left, and observed them zone out in such a way that demonstrated impairment.  I'm not talking about driving in a manner that made me feel immediately unsafe, but missing turns and highway exits and not even realizing it until someone told them, not noticing potentially dangerous driving scenarios in other lanes, etc.  No, I don't think marijuana users are going to randomly swerve into a street lamp, but I don't think they're as prepared to react to others as they think they are, which is paramount in a safe driving environment.

And I certainly don't think their level of impairment should be individually decided.  It should be fair for all users, just like alcohol is.

Nandrolone
Nandrolone

And who will be handling the needles stuck in your arm to draw blood? The burdened health care system? Vampire blood draw banks will be available 24/7? or will you be detained until blood can be drawn? ER doctors gonna appreciate this? already swamped because people use ER instead of doctors due to lack of insured in America.

Nandrolone
Nandrolone

And don't think if these laws go into effect that the auto insurance agencies won't raise rates...they will know who you are; the MMJ databases will be sold or stolen from the insurance agencies; you will be targeted and classified as they currently do with zips and other demographics; rates will go up; amongst other horrors that will develop from this. Repeal A64.

Nandrolone
Nandrolone

A vehicle intended for transportation turns into a weapon for manslaughter and or murder after one drink or one hit or one snort or one huff or one whatever. The young ones may get lucky for awhile and think they can manage, but...after twenty years or so and the reflexes slow, the eyes dull, etc., it's just not safe, the mind does grow more aware for safety and responsibility. Stay off the road when under any influence, even anger or sadness and crying.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 Driving under the influence of cannabis: a 10-year study of age and gender differences in the concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol in blood

Background:

D9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the major psychoactive constituent of cannabis and its various preparations. Increasing use of cannabis for recreational purposes has created a problem for road-traffic safety. This paper compares age, gender and the concentrations of THC in blood of individuals apprehended for driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) in Sweden, where a zero-tolerance law operates. Measurements Specimens of blood or urine were subjected to a broad screening analysis by enzyme immunoassay methods. THC positives were verified by analysis of blood by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) with a deuterium-labelled internal standard (d3-THC). All toxicology results were entered into a database (TOXBASE) along with the age and gender of apprehended drivers. 


Findings 

Over a 10-year period (1995–2004), between 18% and 30% of all DUID suspects had measurable amounts of THC in their blood (> 0.3 ng/ml) either alone or together with other drugs. The mean age [ standard deviation (SD)] of cannabis users was 33 9.4 years (range 15–66 years), with a strong predominance of men (94%,P < 0.001). The frequency distribution of THC concentrations (n = 8794) was skewed markedly to the right with mean, median and highest values of 2.1 ng/ml, 1.0 ng/ml and 67 ng/ml, respectively. The THC concentration was less than 1.0 ng/ml in 43% of cases and below 2.0 ng/ml in 61% of cases. The age of offenders was not correlated with the concentration of THC in blood (r = -0.027,P > 0.05). THC concentrations in blood were higher when this was the only psychoactive substance present (n = 1276); mean 3.6 ng/ml, median 2.0 ng/ml compared with multi-drug users; mean 1.8 ng/ml, median 1.0 ng/ml (P < 0.001). In cases with THC as the only drug present the concentration was less than 1.0 ng/ml in 26% and below 2.0 ng/ml in 41% of cases. The high prevalence of men, the average age and the concentrations of THC in blood were similar in users of illicit drugs (non-traffic cases). 


Conclusions 

The concentration of THC in blood at the time of driving is probably a great deal higher than at the time of sampling (30–90 minutes later). The notion of enacting science-based concentration limits of THC in blood (e.g. 3–5 ng/ml), as discussed in some quarters, would result in many individuals evading prosecution. Zero-tolerance or limit of quantitation laws are a much more pragmatic way to enforce DUID legislation.


Alan W. Jones, Anita Holmgren & Fredrik C. Kugelberg

Department of Forensic Genetics and Forensic Toxicology,
 National Board of Forensic Medicine, Sweden

Kelly Fuson
Kelly Fuson

I would rather be on the road with a thousand pot smokers than with 1 drunk driver.

dgdawg222
dgdawg222

Where did they get these people who cant drive when they are not smoking bud. It's such a bias report that is there to keep you living in fear. I know for a fact that I could be 100 times over the limit with weed and still drive better than these morons.

Matt_in_Boulder
Matt_in_Boulder

Michael - did you even watch the video you linked to from Seattle?  Every one of those drivers "passed" the driving test at THC levels well over the 5 nanogram limit.  I'm not sure how you came to the determination that they "failed badly".  

Yes, they did smoke themselves to the point that they failed the drive test but they were all able to drive fine at 4x the 5 nanogram limit.  That does not sound like failing badly...

Magin E. Sandoval
Magin E. Sandoval

That's not a natural setting as real world driving its not the same !! Too many other factors to consider to make it a real test !!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Juan_Leg  ... In Colorado, DUI laws apply to ANY motor vehicle -- boats, lawn mowers, golf carts, etc. 

... they ALSO apply to HORSES and BICYCLES operated on public roadways.


betweenthelines
betweenthelines

@jmpmk2Your point loses it's initial steam if it can't even pass the most 'basic' Constitutional test, loser. Go crush some beer cans against your fore-head and beg for some lube....

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@jmpmk2 ... EXACTLY !!

If lowlife drunkards and stupid stoners can't adhere to the social contract of civilized society and NOT DRIVE after they've consumed their intoxicating stupefying substances, then they don't deserve the PRIVILEGE of a license to drive.

Hey Stoners and Drunkards! -- TAKE A FUCKING BUS!

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@Nandrolone Decriminalize has been used in the context of writing tickets for fines, which could get quite large. I prefer the terms de-prohibit or de-legislate.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Nandrolone ... imagine if instead of "legalizing" a pathetic ounce for some adults, Colorado had voted to decriminalize all marijuana for everybody ...


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Nandrolone "And who will be handling the needles stuck in your arm to draw blood?"

Officer Friendly ... of course.


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Kelly Fuson  ... most sane people would rather be on the road with SOBER drivers, NEITHER drunk nor stoned.


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Matt_in_Boulder ... A64 FAILED BADLY ... to protect the rights of marijuana users in Colorado.

... but you already knew that, didn't you Matt?


Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @Cognitive_Dissident Yes, once again, reading is fundamental. This is about the next day.

jmpmk2
jmpmk2

Please enlighten me, O' Anointed One.  Teach me these Constitutional tests!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

        *** Feds push for Lowering DUI limit ***

The National Transportation Safety Board wants states to drop the current blood alcohol level threshold for drunk driving  from .08 to .05 — a drop of more than a third that has received criticism from restaurant owners, aka Merchants of Death.

Generally, it takes about three drinks for a 180-pound man to reach the .05 level and two drinks for a 130-pound woman, The New York Times reported.

NTSB chair Debbie Hersman points to scientific research for the reason behind the recommendation.

“We’re really relying on the science that tells us that people are impaired at .05 BAC (blood-alcohol level),” said Hersman on Jansing & Co. “Their cognitive functions and their visual functions diminish.  Their judgment is affected and their reaction times are affected.  We know they are 38% more likely to have a crash at .05.”

“We are not focused on getting people to not have a drink of wine or a beer at dinner,” said Hersman. ” We’re focused on getting impaired drivers off the road and behind the wheel. Impairment begins with your first drink.”

Matt Wald, transportation reporter for the Times, said dropping the limit has helped lower the number of deaths in other countries.

“Two provinces in Australia cut their limit from .08 to .05 and one saw an 8% drop and one saw an 18% drop in fatalities,” said Wald to Chris Jansing.

Each year, 10,000 people die in alcohol related traffic accidents and 170,000 are injured, according to the NTSB.

“We kill too many people every year,” Hersman said.”People are going to tell you there’s a lot of reasons why we couldn’t or shouldn’t do this but there are 10,000 reasons why we should.”

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @Cognitive_Dissident 

You continue to ignore the significance. On the next day, the patient can be shown to be unimpaired, after not having medicated, yet still shows twice the legal limit in his system. This is a problem, even if your pinhead explodes, trying to comprehend it.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Cognitive_Dissident "This is about the next day."

No one is forcing you to smoke pot!

If you do, then DON'T FUCKING DRIVE until ALL the measurable dope is out of your system.

Problem solved!



Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

@Cognitive_Dissident  

It was understood but the length of time the 'nans' remain in your blood stream .

Always good to see ya CD !

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

@DonkeyHotay @Cognitive_Dissident  

'God' made the choice for me .

Blind people make the WORST drivers !

"Spark it up, please ..."

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@betweenthelines = carries a gun everywhere to protect him from his own shadow.


Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @Cognitive_Dissident  

Says the troll whose favorite way of avoiding the issue is to employ the ad hominem attack, which simply shows that the troll is not capable of arguing the merits of that which he has opposed.

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