• Jan 3, 2014


Recreational marijuana sales are heating up in Colorado. As police officers prepare for an increase in impaired drivers there, experts elsewhere are still debating the standards of what makes a driver too high to drive.

In Colorado, according to 9news, officers will administer field sobriety tests to drivers suspected of driving high. The current standard in Colorado for too high to drive is 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood. Juries could convict a driver based on that number alone.

That's a problem, since the 5 ng/ml benchmark is considered unreliable by experts. Concerns over testing impaired drivers nearly killed Colorado's recreational marijuana use bill earlier this year. Experts are unsure over what constitutes impairment since pot doesn't affect drivers the way alcohol does. The highest concentrations of THC is found in the bloodstream immediately after a user smokes, but the highest level of impairment comes 20 to 40 minutes after using, when THC blood levels have actually dropped, making such blood tests less meaningful for law enforcement.

THC absorption levels vary between users. An occasional user, who might experience impairment at 5 ng/ml of THC can't compare to a heavy using cancer patient who might have such levels sustained in their blood whether they've been smoking pot that day or not and show no impairment. In fact, CNN tested drivers with five times the legal limit of THC in their blood and found drivers were actually more cautious than before partaking. Participants had to ingest a huge amount of marijuana before they showed any impairment.


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  • 29 Comments
      Fred
      • 11 Months Ago
      The American Goverment now owns the inside of your car, you are just the driver, get over it.
      shreak
      • 11 Months Ago
      another way for the girl scouts disguised as cops to collect $$$$...over paid under worked fund raisers!!!!
      ron
      • 11 Months Ago
      I'm convinced many marijuana advocates are simply "potheads." Yes...there are some people who really need "medical" marijuana and I believe it is medicinal for those folks, but the majority of pot-users simply want to get stoned. Because the government (city, local, state or federal) has wasted our money on entitlements, they've now got to save their butts by allowing marijuana sales. So......we're now allowing the general public to introduce an unhealthy, known carcinogen into their sytems while the legislators look the other way. And there are also morons who deny this is a "gateway drug" to more potent hallucogens. I'm sure we'll be able to easily see the increase in vehicular accidents within the next few months. However, I shouldn't be surprised.....we've got a President who has already told us he spent two years of college "in a haze." This country is DOOMED.
      bgfkmk
      • 11 Months Ago
      I would be looking for passengers stuffing their faces with munchies,STONED,LOL
      • 11 Months Ago
      This law was enacted as a means of raising more money for the state of Colorado through taxes and fines, not to grant "freedom" for those who smoke marijuana. The intent of this bill is to regulate pot and those who smoke it, the laws regarding the legal use of marijuana will be staggering. Welcome to "freedom" socialist style.
      • 11 Months Ago
      Being a teenager I got so stoned, I don't think I could have driven. I have a low tolerance for alcohol too. It would depend on the indiviual. But me personally...no I wouldn't drive, I would be munching in the passenger seat!!!
      Fred
      • 11 Months Ago
      I say Colorado is going to make money hand over fist, they sell acholo and take you to jail when you have to much now pot will be the same way not counting the tax they will make, it's a win win situation for the state. To be in on the ground floor in that state is like being in on a gold mine.
        rufus
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Fred
        whats with the ground floor remark? there is no ground floor. its the money making state machine.
      DAVID
      • 11 Months Ago
      so lets set the record straight, if your suspected of smoking pot while driving you must allow a blood test or be hit with a stiffer penalty. you see its about loosing your rights and freedoms. if they want your info, your dna, they simply pull you and do a blood draw. now they have your identity and dna on file! if you don't want your blood and dna taken the you must plead guilty to driving under the influence of pot and but of course then they will get your blood and dna at the jail when they process you before release. the bottom line is they want your dna and your money. I'm starting to think this was a bad idea of passing this law. for the record I do not use any drugs nor drink or even smoke for that matter.
      • 11 Months Ago
      With all the deaths from drinking and driving perhaps more attention should be paid to that.
      • 11 Months Ago
      Colorado police has head up ass disease very bad. they can not stand that the people have pass the pot law to bad for then get your head out of your ass and leave the people alone.
        chdblwinnr
        • 11 Months Ago
        If you are anything over the age of 12 you are an incredible indictment of our educational system. That, or you disregarded education completely. If you are speaking on behalf of those who are in favor of legalizing marijuana, I suggest they make you their "poster child". If your lack of education weren't so horribly sad it would be extremely funny. I weep for the future.
      aroldfut
      • 11 Months Ago
      Can't wait to see the courts clogged with attorneys and 'experts' defending people driving stoned. The first vehicular manslaughter trial will be interesting..."I don't remember, I was stoned" defense.
      Pverban
      • 11 Months Ago
      Cops/municipalities make money off speeding, DWI, DUI, and making u go to a program if your busted. They make no money off murder, breaking and entering, kidnapping to name a few. This is why the concentration is on these crimes, they make money , the crimes that really hurt society are forgotten. I talked to a cop with a drug dog he told me his department paid $20,000 for the dog and they made the money in pot busts to pay for the dog in 3 months after that its all profit .
        chdblwinnr
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Pverban
        I understand what you are saying (despite the fact you can't spell or form a sentence). Nobody ever got behind the wheel of a car while impaired and killed people because they were unfit to drive. Never.
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