April 5, 2013
DENVER—This morning, the House of Representatives gave final approval to House Bill 1114, which establishes limits for people driving under the influence of marijuana. The bipartisan measure is sponsored by House Minority Leader Mark Waller, R-Colorado Springs, and state Rep. Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora. This is the third consecutive year Waller has introduced legislation that would create limits for Coloradans driving under the influence of marijuana.
“This measure will make our roads safer,” Waller said. “Giving law enforcement the tools they need to help ensure people are making responsible decisions behind the wheel is an absolute priority.”
Similar to blood alcohol limits for drunk drivers, under HB 1114 a driver in Colorado will be considered under the influence of marijuana if five or more nanograms of delta-9-THC is present in a milliliter of whole blood. Delta-9-THC is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that renders a driver impaired after consumption.
Unlike limits on blood alcohol content, a driver who reaches the five nanogram limit can argue in court that he or she is unimpaired at five nanograms because of their tolerance, size or other contributing factor. This “permissive inference” helps address the concerns of medical marijuana users who are chronically above five nanograms but function as if they were sober.
The measure now moves to the Senate for further consideration.