| Posted on Wed, February, 6th 2013 by THCFinder
DENVER – The marijuana legalization task force endorsed a bill Tuesday establishing a legal limit for driving stoned and recommended juveniles caught possessing pot be given a warning before criminal charges are filed.
But agreement couldn’t be reached on other issues, such as the fundamental structure of the marijuana industry when it comes to who is able to grow, distribute and sell the drug.
Tuesday was the fourth meeting of the 24 member task force established by Gov. John Hickenlooper in December. The group is working on recommendations that will likely guide an omnibus bill — a conglomeration of regulations — to be considered by lawmakers this session.
The issue of driving under the influence of marijuana was considered separately from other recommendations, and the members voted to endorse a proposed bill that is about to start working its way through the General Assembly.
House Bill 114, by House Republican Leader Mark Waller and Democrat Rep. Rhonda Fields, would set the legal limit for driving at 5 nanograms of delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, in their blood.
The proposal mirrors the drunken driving limit of .08 blood alcohol content, except in one important way. Violators would be able to argue in court that they — because of their size or tolerance or other factors — are not in fact intoxicated or impaired at the 5 nanograms of THC level.
Greenwood Village Police Chief John Jackson was among those opposed to the legislation in Tuesday’s task force meeting.
Jackson said he favored a zero tolerance policy, one that would mirror the current drunk driving laws.
Fatal Crash Numbers
Between 2006 and 2011, 240 people were killed in Colorado in crashes where the driver tested positive for THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. The number of fatalities with drivers under the influence of marijuana has increased over the years, while state-wide fatal crashes have decreased.
Year Fatal Crashes THC Total fatal crashes state percent THC
2006 21 721 2.9%
2007 23 789 2.9%
2008 31 712 4.4%
2009 37 653 5.7%
2010 42 600 7%
2011 52 587 8.9%
Source: Colorado Department of Transportation