The nation’s most liberal driving-while-high bill was rejected by the Colorado state Senate on Monday, with members of the opposition claiming “hazy science” among their reasons.
While driving while impaired by drugs is already illegal across the country, some Colorado legislators suggested the creation of an “impairments standard” under which drivers could only be charged with DUI if they had 5 or more nanograms per milliliter of blood of THC while operating a vehicle. THC is the psychoactive component of cannabis.
Sponsors of the bill argued that the increased amount of MMJ use in Colorado is causing danger on the roads.
Senator Steve King (R – Grand Junction) accused the marijuana industry of failing to adequately educate the public about the risks of driving – or operating any heavy machinery – while high.
“Why have we never seen them step up like the alcohol industry and say, ‘Hey, if you’re going to smoke THC marijuana, smoke responsibly?’” King asked. “Why have we never seen them run an ad that says, ‘Friends don’t let friends drive high?’”
The outright rejection of this bill comes after the Senate Judiciary Committee had already amended the bill to make it a study on marijuana impairment. Now, the bill is likely dead for the year, as the Colorado Legislature adjourns for the year on Wednesday.