California law enforcement will not be busting medical marijuana users for stoned driving anytime in the near future. Last week, the state legislature killed a bill that would have allowed prosecutors to pursue a DUI conviction based on a person testing positive for trace amounts of THC in their bloodstream.
This controversial measure, which was introduced by Assemblyman Jim Frazier, would have served as a leech on civil rights; filed as a no tolerance measure that would have ultimately convicted marijuana users for driving intoxicated even when they were not impaired -- dropping unjust penalties on those registering any level of THC metabolites.
However, in a sarcastic attempt to appease the masses, lawmakers amended this bogus legislation to allow a legal limit of two nanograms-per-milliliter of blood, which is still considerably less acceptance than the five nanogram limit that has been tossed around by lawmakers for the past year.
Of course, this feeble attempt at fairness was not good enough for medical marijuana advocates, who argued that, depending on the person, metabolites can linger in the body for days -- setting responsible medical marijuana patients up for a DUI when, in reality, it may have been several days since they last consumed the medicine.
“Because THC remains detectable in the bloodstream for hours or days after use, well after deleterious effects have faded, the bill would make marijuana users liable for DUI regardless of whether they were actually impaired at the time,” according to NORML.
Luckily, common sense prevailed, and the bill, which would have also included cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and heroin, was snuffed out during last week’s Assembly Public Safety Committee meeting by a vote of 4-2.
“Even while marijuana usage has been increasing over the past decade, accident rates and DUI arrests in California have been declining. Some experts speculate that this may be because drivers are substituting marijuana for alcohol. In any case, the evidence seems clear that marijuana isn't causing an epidemic of accidents,” said NORML.
This is the second year in a row that the California legislature has put a stop to a “zero tolerance” bill.
Mike Adams writes for stoners and smut enthusiasts in HIGH TIMES, Playboy’s The Smoking Jacket and Hustler Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @adamssoup and on Facebook/mikeadams73.