Archive for the ‘marijuana legalization’ tag
January 11th, 2014 at 2:06 pm
On January 1, “Illinois’ medical marijuana pilot program laws officially went into effect, but individuals that would qualify for the state’s program may have to wait another year or more before they’re able to utilize said laws,” reports the Huffington Post. With marijuana legalization laws going into effect in Washington and Colorado states, there has been much discussion about changing DUI laws to specifically limit marijuana. Such legislation was introduced into the Colorado Senate as early as May 2013. The measure, according to a different Huffington Post article, “sets a THC-blood limit for Colorado motorists—a concept which has failed six times in the last three years in the state legislature.”
DUI marijuana bills are hard to pin down, however. “Opponents stay that the 5 nanogram standard is too low for frequent pot smokers, especially medical marijuana patients, who regularly have this level of THC in the bloodstream,” reports the Huffington Post. Legalization of marijuana for medical use, such as the law that just went into effect in Illinois, is usually the first step toward further legalization of the drug. If marijuana is ever legalized in Illinois, there will likely be a DUI law debate similar to the one currently underway in Colorado.
According to the Marijuana Policy Project, Illinois has some of the harshest marijuana penalties in the nation. Drugged driving laws, of course, are necessary—“drugged driving puts at risk not only the driver but also passengers and others who share the road,” according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). According to a National Survey on Drug Use and Health in 2012, “an estimated 10.3 million people aged 12 or older reported driving under the influence of illicit drugs during the year prior to being surveyed.” After alcohol, according to the NIDA, THC (the active ingredient in pot) “is the substance most commonly found in the blood of impaired drivers, and motor vehicle crash victims.”