Vote No on HB 13-1114, the 5 nanogram limit for THC driving
Colorado currently has an over 90% conviction rate for people charged with driving under the influence of Cannabis. Senator King and Representative Fields feel there needs to be more, but we disagree based on the full scientific evidence.
The science that was used to fuel the argument for this bill is flawed. Dr. Jan Ramaekers, Head of the Department of Neuropsychology and Psychopharmacology at Maastricht University in The Netherlands, conducted the study that is used frequently to argue for the 5 nanogram limit. This study did not use frequent Cannabis users, and therefore can not be used to encompass a population. This study also stated that one hour after Cannabis use "THC generally did not affect task performance" Leaving 5 nanograms a questionable number when in one hour safe driving could be feasible according to the study.
Another study that weighs-in on the issue of frequent Cannabis users and lingering active THC is from 2008, from the Institute of Forensic Toxicology, and the Institute for Legal Medicine at Goethe-University in Frankfurt, Germany:
"It must be cautioned that cannabinoid blood concentrations from heavy users in a late elimination phase may be difficult to distinguish from concentrations measured in occasional users after acute cannabis use."
The National Institute of Drug Abuse's (NIDA) study of heavy users showed that even after 24 hours of secured clinical observation where the participants were not allowed to ingest Cannabis, blood levels came back as high as 7 nanograms. This raises alarms because a cannabis high lasts on average, a couple of hours. If 24 hours later, a person still tested over 5 nanograms. That leaves a person legally intoxicated in the eyes of the court, if the Per Se 5 nanograms law is passed.
The NIDA study shows more weight when compared to the article by Westword in Denver showing that Staff Cannabis writer William Breathes tested 3 times the legal limit when tested 24 hours after Cannabis use.
All of these studies are available via the web to independently review.
In conclusion, We already have an effective protocol in place to punish those who currently drive stoned. The introduction of a Per Se 5 nanogram limit leaves too many people at risk for a false conviction of DUI when studies have shown they could be completely sober at over 5 nanograms. By signing this petition, you tell the Legislature to vote no on a seriously flawed bill.