Marijuana Sobriety Checkpoints: New Legislation to Outlaw Driving While Stoned

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by xdog, Mar 12, 2012.

  1. Marijuana Sobriety Checkpoints: New Legislation to Outlaw Driving While Stoned

    By Chris RobertsMon., Mar. 12 2012 at 7:05 AM

    [​IMG]​Some will swear that marijuana has merit for motorists. Others fear impairment of any kind, at any level. We're pretty terrified of teen drivers, especially those with cell phones and hangovers, but we'll leave it to the government to intervene on this great debate.

    Under a bill introduced last month by a SoCal assemblywoman, driving while stoned would result in an automatic DUI offense.

    The proposed bill would tag this "offense" onto the section of the Vehicle Code that addresses drunk driving. The new section states that any level of "cannabinoids or synthetic cannabinoid compound" found in a driver's blood or urine, up to three hours after a traffic stop, would equate to a DUI, according to AB 2552, which was introduced by Assemblywoman Norma Torres (D-Pomona).
    However,cannabinoids remain in the body for days or weeks after consumption, according to California NORML. If passed, Torres' bill would essentially criminalize outright operation of a motor vehicle by any marijuana user. So hopefully tokers know enough beer-drinkers skilled enough to stay under 0.08 to designated-drive them to work.

    Torres introduced the bill quietly. No press release accompanied AB 2552's Feb. 27 unveiling.

    Torres is a former 911 dispatcher for the LAPD and mayor of Pomona, serving her second term in Sacramento, and is running for reelection this year. Her financial backers include booze, cops, Native Americans, and media. More specifically, tribal committees, NBC Universal, Millercoors, the California Association of Highway Patrolmen, the Wine Institute, and Anheuser Busch, all of which contributed $1,000 or more to Torres's reelection campaign, according to records.

    Word of the bill's existence broke over the weekend among the marijuana community: NORML issued a press release on Saturday, and union organizers pledged to fight the measure with "everything we have," according to Dan Rush, national director of the medical cannabis and hemp division of United Food and Commercial Workers. The union is also fighting a similar bill in Colorado, Rush said.

    Torres could not be reached over the weekend. However, judging by the state of her Facebook wall -- currently occupied by unhappy marijuana advocates -- somebody at Torres' office must know this isn't popular with pot users.

    The bill has yet to be assigned to a committee in the Assembly. A bill needs to pass committee and both houses of the Legislature before heading to the desk of Gov. Jerry Brown, whose signature is required in order for the bill to become law.

    Technically, it is already a crime to drive stoned: "It is unlawful for any person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug, to drive a vehicle," the Vehicle Code says. Thinking liberally, one could interpret this to mean that it's also illegal to drive under the influence of prescription medication, or cough syrup.

    It would certainly mean no marijuana user could drive, and would also remove from behind the wheel anyone prescribed Marinol, the synthetic THC pill approved by the FDA.

    It's not clear what field sobriety test the state's police, sheriffs, and Highway Patrol would use to ascertain a driver's cannabinoid level. And why would a zero-tolerance policy only be applied to marijuana? "There is no scientific basis for zero tolerance DUI standards," California NORML Director Dale Gieringer wrote in a statement over the weekend.

    "There is no relationship between impairment and the presence of cannabinoids in urine," Gieringer wrote. "Secondly, there is no relationship between impairment and the presence of non-psychoactive cannabinoid metabolites in blood. Third, there is extensive evidence that safe driving is not incompatible with low levels of active THC in the blood."

    Though if the bill does pass, there's a veritable fortune available for anyone offering rides to festivals, from High Sierra to Gaia to our own Hardly Strictly. Just make sure you pot-test your pedicab operator.

    Follow us on Twitter at @TheSnitchSF and @SFWeekly
  2. It'll cut down traffic for sure.

    I'm sure oil companies would love this bill.
  3. "The new section states that any level of "cannabinoids or synthetic cannabinoid compound" found in a driver's blood or urine, up to three hours after a traffic stop"

    Ya fuckin right dude. No way this gets enforced, even if it actually passes. What a joke. The people who write these bills to try and fuck us over need to get educated about marijuana if they are going to do so. The bitch who wrote this bill doesn't know shit. ANY level in the urine? So if I smoked pot last week I can still be intoxicated? Mmmmm....yeeeeeaaaaa ok.
  4. How is this fair at all? I just skimmed through but I saw the part about testing urine for cannabanoids to hit them with a DUI... Are they not aware how long weed stays in people systems? I could not have smoked in 3 days and get busted for a DUI cause it's in my urine is pretty much what I read, I hope I'm wrong though lol
  5. The bill is pure lunacy, any politician with half a brain and a bit of education would laugh her right out the of room. It all comes back to personal agendas and ROI, these politicians are getting nice lil kick backs for fighting this war. Put it this way, the day people start hating money is the day MJ will be legal lol.
  6. Sadly, such laws are already in existence in other states. So obviously it just takes ENOUGH corrupted politicians to pass such rubbish. :(
  7. Dammit, it is this kind of crap legislation that demands we closely examine the affects of marijuana on impaired driving. It is a fact metabolites in urine do not affect one's ability to drive, but as the NORML director stated, low doses of marijuana may not affect driving significantly either.
  8. There really isn't a way to do a sobriety test for marijuana? Besides a urine test?
  9. So now people with cannabis prescriptions won't be able to drive ever? First they can't get guns anymore and now this. Fucking ridiculous.
  10. It's the same issue when healthcare employees get harshly punished for "being under the influence while working" after an incident occurs. If the person pops up positive for THC, they could be looking at serious repercussions for being "negligent" even though they could have smoked 3 weeks prior. And at the same time, this persons co-worker is probably dead tired and fuzzy-minded from taking an Ambien the night before. What is this representative thinking?? Very embarrassing for California and the Democratic Party.
  11. There is no scientific proof that Marijuana damages ability to drive.
    Laws won't be based on Science until politicians stop getting paid by industries.
    Laws are based on Industry in the USA!
  12. We are witnessing an attempt to snuff out Marijuana use once and for all. The powers that be are worried and are now throwing shit against the wall, to see what sticks. Obama 2012!
  13. Oil Shiek #1: "WHAT DID HE SAY!!!!?!?"

    Oil Shiek #2: "I DON"T KNOW!!!! I CAN'T HEAR HIM!!!!!!"

    (I'm sorry, you're going to have to speak up. I'm afraid the noise of gold pouring out of ones asshole can be pretty deafening.)
  14. What a fat lol (and what a fucking bitch)

    There isnt a snow balls chance in hell this passes/is enforced. You cant pass legislation that shits all over current legislation without having really pissed off people.

    There are protections in our 215 medical bill for patients and operating motor vehicles, direct conflict of those laws with another law will result in litigation.

    Ill eat a gigantic slice of humble pie if this one goes through, go ahead and quote me on that.
  15. Actually, I hear there is. I thought they had developed a saliva test with a strip on your tongue that would be able to test positive for use up to two hours prior.

    IF something like this existed, it might be what this article is more referring to when it states "up to three hours", because we ALL know (including them) that blood is several hours and urine is several days at a minimum.

    At least I HOPE the legislation isn't as nefarious as to include actual blood and urine tests...who knows though, they all fear all out legalization vote in 2012 anyway, so expect last-ditch efforts like this evil shit to keep coming this year.
  16. If it only lasts a couple hours, then refuse to take the strip test. By the time they get a judge to sign a warrant to force you too, then it won't be able to detect it anymore.
  17. Are you kidding me? Don't you realize that Obama said he wouldn't go after medical marijuana dispensaries and now dispensaries are getting busted left and right. Obama is the last person you should vote for if you want weed legalized.
  18. Obumma is not the one going after them, it is the California attorney general. Trying to make a name for himself
  19. True, but Obummer certainly hasn't been telling them to knock it off, giving an opinion or showing ANY leadership whatsoever. I guess we need to wait till he gets re-elected to see what his opinions REALLY are.

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