Colo. Passes Drugged Driving Bill

On its 6th try, a bill to outlaw driving while stoned has passed the House and Senate in Colorado. The limit for marijuana: 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood.

But, the bill is the weakest version yet. Instead of 5 nanograms being per se against the law, or even a rebuttable presumption, it's now just a "permissible inference." Blood tests can be refused, although a refusal will result in revocation of driving privileges.

Governor John Hickenlooper is expected to sign the bill into law. The bill is H.R. 1325. Here is the text of the final version.

Two remaining bills are up for final passage tomorrow, the last day of the legislative session. HB 1317 will regulate retail sales of marijuana for recreational use. HB 1318 imposes taxes on marijuana.[More...]

Under HB 1317, marijuana stores would have to be licensed by the state and owned by Colorado residents. For the first nine months, only current medical-marijuana dispensary owners could apply to open recreational pot shops. The first recreational marijuana stores to open would have to grow what they sell, but wholesale growers and stand-alone retailers would be allowed starting in October 2014.

House Bill 1318 would impose a 15 percent excise tax and a sales tax initially set at 10 percent on pot. Voters will ultimately need to approve the taxes before the rates go into effect.

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    Arbitary blood levels... (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Dadler on Wed May 08, 2013 at 09:31:12 AM EST
    ...when it comes to pot are futile and have little to no relation to actual impairment. THC stays in the blood for quite some time, and it remains at different levels for different periods in different types of bodies. Honest study is what is needed, but the feds are too bought and sold by big pharma and big booze to care about anything but protecting pills and vodka.

    It's (none / 0) (#1)
    by lentinel on Wed May 08, 2013 at 05:49:33 AM EST
    nice to know that somewhere in the US, something progressive and intelligent is taking place.

    drug use, is that a chargeable offense?

    It looks that way (none / 0) (#4)
    by jbindc on Wed May 08, 2013 at 10:28:21 AM EST
    From the draft bill

    (My edits based on the redlines in the bill as posted):

    (d) AS USED IN THIS SECTION, one or more drugs MEANS ANY drug, AS DEFINED in section 27-80-203 (13), C.R.S.,ANY CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE, AS defined in section 18-18-102 (5), C.R.S., and  any INHALED GLUE, AEROSOL, OR other toxic vapor or
    vapors, AS DEFINED IN SECTION 18-18-412, C.R.S.

    (This definition repeats in other sections of the bill).

    Does any other drug have THC to be measured?


    Not keen... (none / 0) (#5)
    by kdog on Wed May 08, 2013 at 01:52:32 PM EST
    on having to agree to possibly have to surrender your blood in order to get a driver's license...but as long as you have the right to refuse I guess it could be worse.  I see it as a step above and beyond a breathalyzer...literal flesh and blood.

    But if this is what it takes to appease the pearl-clutchers and free the weed, that's the important thing.

    Did you miss Part B? (none / 0) (#6)
    by NYShooter on Wed May 08, 2013 at 02:28:34 PM EST
    "..but as long as you have the right to refuse.."


    "..a refusal will result in revocation of driving privileges."

    Understood... (none / 0) (#7)
    by kdog on Wed May 08, 2013 at 03:28:46 PM EST
    you have the right to refuse, but it will cost you your license.  Same deal for refusing the breathalyzer.

    Bad, but no right to refuse strap you down to a gurney and take your blood would be worse.  And I don't put it past the state to try that.


    The moral of the story, always drive (none / 0) (#9)
    by Mr Natural on Wed May 08, 2013 at 07:18:47 PM EST
    faster than five miles per hour, even if you think you're driving through ToonTown.