Obama Drug Policy Calls for Drugged Driving Charges for Unimpaired Marijuana Users

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by GolgiApparatus, May 15, 2010.

  1. Russ Belville: Obama Drug Policy Calls for Drugged Driving Charges for Unimpaired Marijuana Users

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    From the Obama Administration's recently released National Drug Control Strategy (hat tip to NORML reader Glen):

    Encourage States To Adopt Per Se Drug Impairment Laws [ONDCP]
    State laws regarding impaired driving are varied, but most State codes do not contain a separate offense for driving under the influence of drugs (DUID). Therefore, few drivers are identified, prosecuted, or convicted for DUID. Law enforcement personnel usually cite individuals with the easier to prove driving while intoxicated (DWI) alcohol charges. Unclear laws provide vague signals both to drivers and to law enforcement, thereby minimizing the possible preventive benefit of DUID statutes. Fifteen states have passed laws clarifying that the presence of any illegal drug in a driver's body is per se evidence of impaired driving. ONDCP will work to expand the use of this standard to other states and explore other ways to increase the enforcement of existing DUID laws.

    Here are the states President Obama would like the others to emulate:

    Arizona: Zero tolerance for cannabis metabolites, mandatory 24 hours jail, up to 6 months upon conviction.

    Delaware: Zero tolerance for cannabis metabolites.

    Georgia: Zero tolerance for cannabis metabolites, mandatory 24 hours jail, up to 12 months upon conviction.

    Illinois: Zero tolerance for cannabis metabolites, up to 12 months upon conviction.

    Indiana: Zero tolerance for cannabis metabolites, up to 60 days upon conviction.

    Michigan: Zero tolerance for cannabis metabolites, up to 93 days upon conviction, vehicle immobilization for up to 180 days.

    Nevada: 15 ng/ml for cannabis metabolites.

    Ohio: 15 ng/ml for cannabis metabolites, mandatory 72 hours in jail, up to 6 months upon conviction, 6 month to 3 year license suspension.

    Pennsylvania: DUID for cannabis metabolites, amount unclear.

    South Dakota: Zero tolerance for cannabis metabolites for persons under the age of 21.

    Utah: Zero tolerance for cannabis metabolites, mandatory 48 hours jail, up to 6 months upon conviction.

    Nine of the fifteen states cited have "zero tolerance for cannabis metabolites". What this means is that if the inactive (read: non-impairing) THC metabolite (THC-COOH) is detected in the urine of a driver, that driver is impaired in the eyes of the law. (There are actually 17 states that have per se DUID laws, but Iowa, Minnesota, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Wisconsin exclude metabolites of cannabis.) Nevada and Ohio have 15 ng/ml levels which are very low; most workplace pre-employment screenings set the initial screening limit at 50 ng/ml. At the confirmation level of 15 ng/ml, the frequent cannabis user will be positive for perhaps as long as 15 weeks.
    Of course, faithful NORML readers and most of the public know that cannabis metabolites can remain detectable in the urine for up to 100 days or longer for a regular cannabis consumer and up to fifteen days for the casual consumer, even after quitting cold turkey. Metabolites in urine don't tell you a driver is actually impaired, they tell you someone used cannabis, but not when. Even the US Department of Transportation admits that a positive test for drug metabolites is "solid proof of drug use within the last few days, it cannot be used by itself to prove behavioral impairment during a focal event."

    Cannabis metabolites are funny things; they don't eliminate from the body in any predictable fashion. In fact, when you think about it, a metabolite is produced when the body metabolizes, or breaks down, a substance. The presence of metabolites for THC tells you the body has already broken down the THC! You could actually call a urine screening for metabolites a non-impairment test!

    Now some of these laws do have per se standards for actual THC in the blood and you could argue that is a more realistic determinant of current impairment, but do you think most cash-strapped city, county, and state police are going to use an expensive, invasive blood test when a cheap urine screen is available and more likely to get them a conviction for DUID?

    These per se DUID "zero tolerance" laws are nothing but discrimination against cannabis users, plain and simple. Metabolites for every other drug, legal and illegal, are eliminated from the body much more quickly:

    PCP ("angel dust") = up to 2 days detection.

    Cocaine (and "crack") = up to 2-3 days detection.

    Opiates (heroin, oxycontin, etc.) = up to 1-2 days detection.

    Amphetamines (meth, speed) = up to 1-3 days detection.

    Barbiturates (Seconol, etc.) = up to 3 days detection.

    Benzodiazepenes (Xanax, Valium, Clonopin, etc.) = up to 2-3 days detection.

    Alcohol (Budweiser, Jim Beam, Reisling, etc.) = you can actually be considered unimpaired with current blood alcohol levels up to 0.08%, so long as you pass the roadside sobriety test!

    Cannabis (marijuana, hash, pot) = up to 7-100 days detection.

    So you could smoke some dust, snort some coke, shoot some smack, and pop some pills at the party Friday night, and possibly be considered an unimpaired driver by Monday (you could even have a couple of drinks before you got pulled over), but if you smoked a joint last month, in eleven states you could be going to jail and losing your license for endangering the public on the roadways.
    These "zero tolerance" laws are criminalizing an entire population - cannabis users - for molecules in their bodies that have nothing to do with impairment or driving ability. Can you imagine the uproar if police harassed drivers based on the melanin content of their skin... whoops, never mind.
  2. Do we really need any more proof of how VALUABLE this plant is and the lengths they'll go to ensure that only the "correct" consumer products are purchased? Just look at the laws! They are insane! Insane laws enacted by greedy, control freak, racist madmen. :rolleyes:
  3. I guess no more aspirin and caffiene for me.
  4. kinda sucks ehh..


    it'll all be better soon enough
  5. I uh...wow, I don't know what to say about that new policy if the states adopt it. I'll just say I smoked pot yesterday, and I probably still have THC in my system today, but I am not in the least bit impaired. That policy is completely unfair and ridiculous.

    Looks as if Obama is worse than Bush on some things...
  6. before the clearing there is a storm.
  7. Sometimes i fucking hate people ..
  8. AN to think that obama is behind yet another demeaning government related study that does nothing but hurt cannabis users. Its kinda contradictive i think to be a cannabis user and a obama supporter... or atleast from this point on .
  9. I wouldnt tell the cops anything man. Just be quite and call you're lawyer if you get busted for it. Anything you say can and will be used against you in the court of law ;P.
  10. I've had it with this cocksucker Obama. When is the government going to stop fucking its people over for personal gain?
  11. #11 Rebel4Liberty, May 15, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: May 15, 2010
    Whoa!! This adminstration out of control and we are reaching new lows. I think you have it backwards, When are the people going to rise up to put this federal corporation back into its own jurisdiction known as DC . When the PEOPLE make the fed govt realize we don't work for them and THEY work for us, we will stop getting fucked over! WHEN the PEOPLE break this LEFT/RIGHT PARADIGM and stop voting for bought and paid for politicians by our criminal 500 corporations the system of enslavement can be brought down! As long as you have this system of enslavement and the corporations control society THEY will NEVER legalize cannabis! Of course, very few even know the de-facto statues and regulations on cannabis are unlawful according to the constitution. It's kept the way it is so an illicit black market can function as a revenue stream to the elite PLUS they profit off incarcerations. There's way too much money to lose and BIG industry that thrives off of it. When people can finally wake up out their political stupor, living and supporting a fraudulent system we can regain our rightful power back to being what we were supposed to be in the first place...a REPUBLIC!
  12. that cant be legal. someone needs to take this to the supreme court. having metabolites in your system does not prove you were high while you were driving. it only proves that you smoked in the last month. the abuse of this law is going to be obscene. cops can pull people over who look like stoners, say they were driving bad and drug test them. when is the government going to start working for us again? i certainly doubt this is what our founding fathers wanted for our county. we came here to get away from tyranny and now we've recreated it.
  13. these laws are going to have to be hashed out in the court. Anyone convicted of this shit needs to appeal, appeal, appeal. This is absolutely wrong. I'm glad I don't live in a state with bullshit laws like this.
  14. I was burning a joint and putting back a brew in a parking lot before a party the other day. I was doing my best to keep an eye out for the popes but one managed to slide by my eagle vision and got me booked. He threw out my joint and gave me a fine for the beer. You motherfuckers have to move up North.
  15. FUCK. THAT. It's not in my state (yet), but I will be protesting this shit like you wouldn't fucking believe, and I encourage all of you to do the same. Our voices are all we've got, so USE THEM. Now, who has any good ideas for how to stop this, other than letters, protests, etc?
  16. wow is this a fucking joke to obama? seriously someone tell me wtf is the point of having different conviction sentences in different states and why is obama doing that?
    this is getting out of controll here we need to do something about this fast!
  17. WOW......:confused:

    Im moving to canada at this rate :D
  18. lol, glad CO isnt on there.
    Retarded law though.
  19. Everyone voted for CHANGE!

    CHANGE has come!!


    Ron Paul plz :D
  20. I live in Utah and got charged with a bullshit metabolite. They smelt weed, couldnt find any, searched and searched, I passed his breathalyzer, I passed his field sobriety test, then the fuck asks me to take a urine test, I said no way, its been 2 hours and I would like to be on my way, ive cooperated with you enough. then bam, he throws the cuffs on me, puts me in back of his car for another hour while he gets a warrant to draw blood work on me.

    Im still fighting it in court, lost my license for 36 months

    fuck obama, I never say this word, but he is a ******. I am sorry I even voted for him

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