Marijuana minister files injunction against THC driving law

Categories: Marijuana

Thumbnail image for rev.brandonbaker.jpg
Rev. Brandon Baker.
Reverend Brandon Baker, leader of Colorado's Greenfaith Ministries -- a cannabis-centric congregation out of Nunn, just east of Fort Collins -- thinks that not only is the new pot-driving law unnecessary, but that it also unfairly targets medical and religious users of cannabis.

In fact, he sees it as such a threat that he filed an injunction in U.S. District Court yesterday to stop it.

In a copy of the injunction obtained by Westword, Baker lists both Governor John Hickenlooper and Attorney General John Suthers as defendants, charging that they are specifically charged with protecting the electorate's legal rights -- and they've failed to do so by allowing the legislature to include THC driving limits.

Thumbnail image for john suthers facebook portrait.JPG
Colorado Attorney General John Suthers.
Baker's strongest arguments against that new law focus on Colorado's existing DUI statute, which he says has been sufficient up to this point, achieving a conviction rate higher than 90 percent without any blood nanogram levels. He also argues that blood draws are unconstitutional and that recently passed laws do not create a valid warrant requirement for either arrest or blood draws.

"There is clear likelihood that irreparable and imminent harm will occur to the state, its people and the defendant directly, should the injunction not be issued," Baker says in the suit. "An injunction will not violate a public interest or any safety at all as there is already constitutional zero tolerance, drugged driving DUI laws in Colorado for all illegal and legal drugs."

Another part of Baker's injunction request centers on a religious exemption to the DUI bill. He spends several pages arguing that the religious use of cannabis is completely legitimate, citing a 1988 Oregon decision involving peyote (which he argues is the same as cannabis) and the Native American Church -- the teachings of which are a major part of his Greenfaith Ministries congregation.

Other arguments don't necessarily hit the mark. At one point, Baker writes that there is "no way to [tell]...whether you are impaired by the metabolites in your piss or blood." While it's true that there is no agreed-upon level of impairment, active THC metabolites -- which is what get you "high" -- can be measured. Baker also brings up recent changes in the World Anti-Doping Administration for athlete marijuana levels from 15 nanograms to 150 nanograms, saying that it is well above Colorado's driving level. The comparison doesn't work, though, as Colorado's law tests for active THC and the WADA is testing for inactive THC.

Baker has since said the WADA mention is meant to hammer home is argument against the existing THC DUI laws as well:

"The fact that the world anti-doping agency revised their piss levels by 10 times to try and show current use, not impairment shows that you can not gauge impairment by blood or piss, which both are used for duis before the bills, thus the reason i challenge the laws as they stand and the new bills as they do not address or correct the violations of the constitution," he wrote to Westword today.

Still, the basis of the argument is one we support. There is an obvious lack of science behind the five nanogram limit in the THC driving bill passed by the state legislature, and it puts innocent Colorado citizens who legally use cannabis at an increased risk of being convicted for a crime they didn't commit.

Read the copy of injunction below:

Rev. Brandon Baker Colorado THC-DUI injunction

More from our Marijuana archive: "THC driving limit's passage means pot critic William Breathes may never drive legally again."

My Voice Nation Help
36 comments
shamanhawk
shamanhawk

DonkeyHo,

Chapter and verse in A64 that states  "A64 explicitly declares that driving while IMPAIRED on marijuana is ILLEGAL" please!   Impaired LEVEL is the debate so stop shouting!

Great job Reverend Baker.  

Essentially DUID is a BLANKET of any drugs in your system that impairs you so if you are gonna blood test, then let's get a FULL scan of all compounds.   5ng's is a back door way of ARRESTING people again because it's stored in your fat cells.  You may not even be stoned and yet have your life ruined. This is  NOT what A64 intended.

Here is the real problem:  http://www.distraction.gov/content/get-the-facts/facts-and-statistics.html

Agree with Gavin and like Corey's blog.   


krymsun
krymsun

Why does most everyone automatically jump to the impulsive knee-jerk, FALSE assumption that cannabis impairs drivers much the same as does alcohol? Why let uninformed opinions be the basis of new laws? It took me very little time to do a search, and find actual scientific studies which indicate just how incorrect such an assumption is.

See: http://norml.org/library/item/marijuana-and-driving-a-review-of-the-scientific-evidence

Per Se Drugged Driving Laws and Traffic Fatalities concluded that, as currently implemented, making it illegal to operate a motor vehicle with drugs (or drug metabolites) in the system, has no discernible impact on traffic fatalities.
See: http://ftp.iza.org/dp7048.pdf

Driving High on Marijuana Is Safer Than Driving Drunk [ or driving sober ]
See: http://blogs.lawyers.com/2012/04/cruising-the-high-way-safer-than-drunk-driving/

FOR some Top Ten Reasons Marijuana Users Are Safe Drivers
See: http://www.theweeklyconstitutional.com/news/headlines/1035-why-you-should-always-spark-up-before-hitting-the-road

CoreyDonahue
CoreyDonahue

Good job Rev. If that does not work remember I left to seek asylum becasue this is a vilation of your human rights. 

mich.cannabisunivers
mich.cannabisunivers

From HB13-1325: FOR A MISDEMEANOR!!

SECTION 17. In Colorado Revised Statutes, 42-4-1705, amend

24 (1) (c) as follows:

25 42-4-1705. Person arrested to be taken before the proper

26 court. (1) Whenever a person is arrested for any violation of this article

27 punishable as a misdemeanor, the arrested person shall be taken without

unnecessary delay before a county judge who has jurisdiction of such

2 offense as provided by law, in any of the following cases:

3 (c) When the person is arrested and charged with DUI, DUI per

4 se, habitual user, or UDD;

lochlannmatt
lochlannmatt

im FOR his complaint, but metabolites arent weed. They are a bodily response to mj injestion.

lochlannmatt
lochlannmatt

seems like NOBODY is stating for-sure that cops NEED A WARRANT for a suspected weed-DUI as is the case for suspected booze-DUI cases> as decided by Supreme Court last month.

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

'Marijuana Minister' ....?

Hmmmmm .......?

Perhaps getting high is the clue to the bible making any sense ....

the420rev
the420rev

Cannabis In Your Blood?
When it comes to inhalation medicating, THC "peaks off" fairly rapid with in a few minutes after inhaling, often triggering levels above 100 ng/ml in blood with in these first few minutes. It then declines quickly to single-digit levels within an hour. High THC levels are therefore a good indication that the patient or person has smoked marijuana recently, however it not always the case.

THC may stay relatively low but detectable levels of 1-2 ng/ml for 8 hours or more without any measurable signs of impairment in one-time users. In Medicinal and/or "regular" users, detectable amounts of blood THC can persist for weeks, even months.

In one study of regular cannabis users, residual THC was detected for 24 to 48 hours or longer at levels of 0.5 - 3.2 ng/ml in whole blood and 1.0 - 6.4 ng/ml in blood serum [Skopp and Potsch Study]

THC in your blood is measured in two ways:
1. Labs used by United States Government Officials use whole blood.
2. Others(i.e. private hospitals etc) reporting concentration in blood serum or plasma.

Concentrations in whole blood are about half as high as those in serum/plasma. Meaning 1.1 - 0.5 ng/ml in whole blood would be equal to 2.2 - 1.0 ng/ml in plasma or serum.

In a study of 25 frequent cannabis users, 36% showed no measurable blood THC throughout 7 days of abstinence, while the rest had at least one positive, though not necessarily on the first day.

Six patients (24%) had detectable blood THC after seven days at levels ranging from 0.2 to 1.5 ng/ml (that is, 0.4 to 3.0 ng/ml in serum)

Although high blood THC is a fairly good indicator of being under the influence, it is not infallible. Patients who have grown a tolerance to THC and other Cannabinoids, in some cases may even remain with very high blood levels of THC for weeks after use. There have been reports of even higher day-after blood THC levels in patients due to oral medicating and digestive/metabolisms.

Oral ingestion produces a much different THC blood profile than smoking. Instead of peaking sharply, THC rises gradually over a couple of hours, just to plateau off, but in some cases it can remain at a high level for up to 48 hrs.

THC, blood tests can detect cannabinoid metabolites. Labs often times report levels of THC-COOH, the same non-psychoactive metabolite found in urine. THC-COOH levels for blood are similar to urine. They may be detectable for a couple of days after a single use or weeks in medicinal patients or recreational users, and are not a valid indicator of being "high". There is no scientific basis for treating people who have THC-COOH but not THC in their blood as being legally "under the influence."

Another blood metabolite is 11-hydroxy-THC, a psychoactive byproduct produced when THC is processed by the liver after oral ingestion. While not detectable at appreciable levels in smoked marijuana, 11-hydroxy-THC shows a similar blood profile to THC after oral consumption. The presence of 11-hydroxy-THC may therefore be used as an indicator of recent oral use. However, most blood tests don't check for 11-hydroxy-THC.

Monkey
Monkey

Driving with less than 5/ng sounds dangerous to me. As God in my world, I declare it a sin.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

                         Marijuana and Driving - Research Brief

Prevalence of driving under the influence of marijuana

Results from the 2007 National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NDSHS)  indicate that 2.9% of Australians aged at least 14 years have driven a motor vehicle while under the influence of illicit drugs in the last 12 months. This percentage has reduced from 3.9% and 3.3% in the 2001 and 2004 versions of the survey, respectively. These results are similar to those found in United States’ national substance use surveys, where 4.4% and 4.3% of respondents in 2004 and 2005, respectively, reported having driven under the influence of illicit drugs in the last 12 months.

Relating to marijuana in particular, several researchers have surveyed the general driving population about their use of the drug prior to driving. Three Canadian studies have shown drivers to report having driven a vehicle during the previous 12 months under the influence of marijuana at rates of 1.5% to 2.9%. A recent review of drug use, impaired driving and traffic accidents by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) revealed that between 0.3% and 7.4% of drivers tested positive for marijuana across seven roadside surveys conducted between 1997 and 2007 in Australia, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States, using blood, urine or saliva tests (3.9% on average; Australia had the lowest rate among these studies).

In Scotland, researchers found that, among 537 drivers surveyed at toll bridges, 15% of 17 to 39 year-olds and 3% of over 40 year-olds reported having ever driven within 12 hours after using marijuana.10 Among students with drivers’ licences in Canada, these rates were as high as 19.7%.  In British studies of youthful populations with drivers’ licences, self-reported rates of having ever driven under the influence of marijuana were 59% for dance- or night-club patrons and 40% for university students. 

Among samples of those who use marijuana, between 43.1% and 82% reported having ever driven a vehicle shortly after using marijuana;12-15 between 23% and 80.3% reported having done so in the last 12 months 76.1% reported having done so in the last month;16 and 21% reported having done so in the last week.

Field Studies

EMCDDA’s reviews showed that across 14 studies conducted in Australia, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, and the United States between 1993 and 2005, the rates of marijuana detected (primarily via blood samples) in drivers injured in traffic accidents ranged from 3.3% to 26.9% (11.8% on average; 7.1% and 15.2% in Australia). 

Furthermore, the reviews revealed that, among 23 studies of drivers killed in car accidents in Australia, Canada, France, Hong Kong, Italy, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States, marijuana was detected in 1.4% to 37% of drivers (11.7% on average; 11% and 13.5% in Australia).

A more recent study revealed that increasing instances of driving under the influence of marijuana are associated with an increased risk of motor vehicle accidents. More specifically, after adjusting for confounding variables, young adults in a New Zealand birth cohort who drove under the influence of marijuana more than 20 times across a 4 year period had a risk of collisions 1.4 times greater than did those who had never driven under the influence of marijuana.

Finally, driver culpability studies have suggested that drivers testing positive to marijuana are significantly more likely to be responsible for fatal car crashes than are drug-free drivers.

Jeff Raiter
Jeff Raiter

Michigan Supreme court just ruled on something similar to those Dui Laws concerning Cannabis. The law enforcement has to prove that your ability is or was truly impaired and not just a drug/blood test will do. And we all know drive while on pot is much safer than driving on prescription drugs and/or alcohol

Che Harness
Che Harness

Anyone know how to set up a charity? This guys probably going to need some legal funds!!

Justin Day
Justin Day

Good man I met him a couple years back

the420rev
the420rev

the extensive religious divulgence is to secure my religious standing in fed court, the injunction stands more securely on the 4th amend and 6th amend violations as they also violate the 5th/14th amendments via due process

rence301
rence301

@krymsun  "Why let uninformed opinions be the basis of new laws?"

Why not? It is EXACTLY what people (i wont name names but they know who they are) are trying to do with gun control laws.  People who know nothing about them, and demonstrate this every time they open their mouths, all jump on the banwagon (not a typo) so fast you'd think they were giving away free weed on the aforementioned wagon. 

Just sayin...

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@CoreyDonahue ... porque México es famoso por su historia fantásticode derechos humanos

the420rev
the420rev

@DonkeyHotayfailed science as they are measuring frequency of use, not actual impairment... try this one

A comparison of meta-analyses of experimental studies on the impairment of driving-relevant skills by alcohol or cannabis suggests that a THC concentration in the serum of 7-10 ng/ml is correlated with an impairment comparable to that caused by a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.05%. so we need 15 minimum by this research to equal .08 BAC. and this is not heavy users just regular users


a blood test shows under the influence meaning recent use not impaired functionality (which is fully subjective to the individual as well as the instance and thus are not able to have a set standard)... at least thats what the scientists and drs say that are evidence to backmy fed suit ;)


the420rev
the420rev

@Jeff Raiter glad to see you get it!


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Che Harness ... he's crazier than Rob Corry ... which is why he filed his nonsensical "injunction" pro se.

He who represents himself in court has a fool for a client.


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@the420rev ... dude ... you've done baked your brain.

There is no RELIGIOUS FREEDOM to Drive a Vehicle on the PUBLIC ROADWAYS while under the INFLUENCE of Pot or Alcohol.

None whatsoever.

If God wanted Stoners to Drive, he'd wouldn't have invented Public Transportation.

Take a Bus!, stoner.

CoreyDonahue
CoreyDonahue

@DonkeyHotay @CoreyDonahue Yeah that is why I am in Bolivia, just had to hunker down and write my asylum claim, why not do it in Mexico on the beach.  http://coreyspoliticalasylum.blogspot.mx/2013/03/federally-directed-propaganda.html

And Bolivia kicked out the DEA, USAID and withdrew from the Single Convention Treaty untill they granted and exception for the Coca leaf.  So if you want to end the War on Drugs, where would you go?

Mexico's human rights record sucks becasue the people who lord over the Mexican people serve the same master that lords over the people of the United States of America and we all know how spotless the US Governments human rights record is. 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@the420rev ... so you admit there is a correlation between frequency of use of marijuana and increased accidents and death while operating a motor vehicle.


the420rev
the420rev

@DonkeyHotay if you knew the laws you would know we all have the right to drive under the influence, but no one has the right to drive impared.... that being said you can not prove impairment with a blood test... second this has shit too do with the main fact that it is violating the 4th amendment; the confrontation clause to the 6th amendment as well as due process... so get stuck on your bogus religious counter argument all you want

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@CoreyDonahue "And Bolivia kicked out the DEA, USAID and withdrew from the Single Convention Treaty untill they granted and exception for the Coca leaf."

Viva Morales!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@the420rev "i dont care what the language in 64 says"

Legal argument = FAIL!

A64 is LAW of the LAND, Voted into the CONSTITUTION by THE PEOPLE.

Nowhere in A20 did it establish any RIGHT to DRIVE while impaired on marijuana.

A64 explicitly declares that driving while IMPAIRED on marijuana is ILLEGAL.

There is no Religious exception to use DRUGS and DRIVE on the PUBLIC ROADWAYS. Never was, never will be.

Case closed.


the420rev
the420rev

@DonkeyHotay@the420revi dont care what the language in 64 says im an amend 20 and 1st amend user, and the supreme court trumps unconst statutes and it has already been decided by the michigan supreme court as well as mcneely that under the influence and impaired are 2 different things and a warrantless blood draw will not hold for a conviction Just like under amend 20...

Thomas J. Phillips, J., concluded that "defendant’s registration under the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMMA), MCL 333.26421 et seq., protected him from prosecution under MCL 257.625(8) unless the prosecution was able to prove that defendant was actually impaired by the presence of marijuana in his body."...The MMMA does not define what it means to be “under the influence,” but the phrase clearly contemplates something more than having any amount of marijuana in one’s system and requires some effect on the person. Thus, the MMMA’s protections extend to a [regarding MCL 257.625(8)] registered patient who internally possesses marijuana while operating a vehicle unless the patient is under the influence of marijuana. The immunity from prosecution provided under the MMMA to a registered patient who drives with indications of marijuana in his or her system but is not
otherwise under the influence of marijuana inescapably conflicts with MCL 257.625(8).

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@the420rev = legally insane

From Amendment 64 -- that YOU voted for --

Sec. 16, 1, B (III)
DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF MARIJUANA SHALL REMAIN ILLEGAL;


Now Trending

Denver Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...