An ill-conceived proposal to let cops use a marijuana swab during DUI stops was shot down by California lawmakers recently.
The legislation by Tom Lackey of Palmdale would have established a THC blood level. It would have used the new swab to prove you’re stoned behind the wheel.
Fortunately, Democratic lawmakers in the Assembly Public Safety Committee blocked the Republican’s idea, which was supported by Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
The argument against marijuana DUIs is that it’s still impossible to tell how impaired someone is via THC blood levels.
Even if you smoked a few days ago, your THC levels can be elevated. Even if you’re not “high.” Medical marijuana proponents say this would persecute users of this particular medicine by subjecting them to expensive DUIs even when they’re sober.
Those concerns were clearly shared by the Democrats on that committee.
Unfortunately, Lackey said in a statement that he’ll be back next year with the same proposal:
Officers have numerous tools to deal with drunk drivers but lack the equivalent for drugs. Better tools for law enforcement have allowed us to cut down on drunk driving. We need to pursue the same strategy for drugged driving which is unfortunately rapidly increasing. I hope California will have the courage to act in the future, but today was clearly a setback for roadway safety.
Until we figure out the science of pot DUIs, we’ll call this one a win.