Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Colorado Struggles Over Driving While High

The Colorado state Legislature is considering whether to adopt a blood-content threshold for marijuana that would be considered too impaired to drive.  There is currently a proposal before legislators that would make Colorado, a state that has legalized the use of medical marijuana, one of three states to adopt such a statute.  Under the proposal, drivers who test positive for 5 nanograms of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, would be considered too impaired to drive.  Currently, twelve states have a zero tolerance for the presence of any illegal substance, including Illinois.  Minnesota has the same policy but specifically excludes marijuanaNevada and Ohio have a 2 nanogram THC limit and Pennsylvania has a 5 nanogram limit, but that is only a state Health Department guideline which the prosecution can use as evidence in a driving violation case.  Even the Colorado proposal is a rebuttable presumption.  Driver's will not be automatically guilty but will be allowed to argue their case.  It is hard to determine what it would take to reach the 5 nanogram threshold but it seems like you would have to smoke some very potent marijuana and be immediately stopped and tested to reach this level.  Some medical marijuana advocates are opposed to the proposal because they point out that medical users of marijuana may have higher tolerance levels that most people which would make more likely to have high levels of THC long after they have smoked the drug.  Many medical marijuana users may have higher levels of THC in their bloodstream because of their continued use of medical marijuana.  This would also support the argument that the proposed levels are too low for long term medical marijuana users.

For more information about the Chicago criminal defense attorneys at Legal Defenders, P.C., visit us at or call us anytime at 1-800-228-7295.

No comments:

The Legal Defenders, PC

70 West Madison, Ste 1400 * Chicago * IL 60602 * Phone: (800) 228-7295 * Fax: (800) 604-0507