Eric Lumsden

Broadly-Worded Colorado Cannabis DUI Legislation Withdrawn by Sponsor

A Colorado legislator listened to criticisms of his cannabis DUI bill and decided to withdraw the legislation.

Full story after the jump.

A piece of proposed legislation that would have made it easier for police in Colorado to charge people with driving under the influence of cannabis intoxication has been withdrawn by its sponsor, according to a Westword report.

Colorado state Rep. Dylan Roberts (D) introduced House Bill 1146 in the final days of January. However, Roberts pulled the legislation after hearing discussion over the bill.

“We’ve been having a lot of meetings on this bill. We had stakeholder meetings, and met with people from the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar and medical marijuana patient community. I appreciated and really learned a lot from the conversation, and have taken their suggestion and feedback. What we were trying to do with the law wasn’t really workable with this bill, and it would’ve had unintended consequences that I wouldn’t support as a legislator.” — State Rep. Dylan Roberts, via Westword

HB 1146’s language would’ve allowed police to arrest “for the presumption that a driver is under the influence of marijuana” if there is “evidence to believe that a driver had consumed alcohol or drugs, that the driver was substantially incapable of safely operating a vehicle, and that the driver had any measurable amount of a drug in his or her blood or oral fluid.”

The current technology and chemical standards in terms of cannabis intoxication, however, are largely inaccurate. While the Colorado “legal limit” for cannabis intoxication is 5 nanograms of THC per mL of blood, the problem with that is that habitual users may not be impaired at that level, while new users or those with zero tolerance may be intoxicated below that threshold.

Cannabis advocates were happy with the decision to withdraw the legislation. “Dylan Roberts took our concerns into consideration and expressed the same concerns for medical marijuana patients and those on everyday prescription drugs as well,” said Ashley Weber of the Colorado NORML chapter. “It takes a good leader to admit when they’re wrong, instead of moving forward with language that doesn’t please anybody but their own egos.”

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