Pot driving limits win unanimous approval in Colorado

Kristen Wyatt
The Aspen Times

A bill making it easier to convict people of driving stoned passed the Colorado House on an initial vote Tuesday. "This is about traffic safety in the state of Colorado," said Rep. Rhonda Fields, an Aurora Democrat who is one of the bill's sponsors.

A bill making it easier to convict people of driving stoned passed the Colorado House on an initial vote Tuesday. "This is about traffic safety in the state of Colorado," said Rep. Rhonda Fields, an Aurora Democrat who is one of the bill's sponsors.
A bill making it easier to convict people of driving stoned passed the Colorado House on an initial vote Tuesday. “This is about traffic safety in the state of Colorado,” said Rep. Rhonda Fields, an Aurora Democrat who is one of the bill’s sponsors.
The Denver Post / AP
DENVER — A long-simmering marijuana driving debate in Colorado appears to be nearing an end. The state House gave unanimous approval Tuesday to a bill setting pot blood limits for drivers.

The proposal has sponsors from both parties who argued that it’s time Colorado finally set a pot driving standard. Colorado legalized marijuana last year along with Washington state. But unlike Washington, Colorado did not set a pot driving limit to go along with legalization.

“We have a problem. The problem is, we have people who are deciding to smoke marijuana and get behind the wheel,” said Rep. Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora.

The bill would say that drivers are too high if their blood contains more than 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter. THC is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

Similar measures have failed three times before in the Colorado Legislature.

This year’s pot driving bill is slightly different because people accused of driving stoned would be able to argue that they were sober despite higher blood levels. Marijuana driving limits in Washington and other states are like drunken-driving laws, where drivers in excess of legal standards can’t claim they were sober.

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