5 Nanogram THC Limit Coming To California?

Two DUII Bills Pass Out of Committee

By William Stash Jones
Oregon Cannabis Connection


Tom Angell, through his Marijuana Moment newsletter, brought our attention to a couple of bills that passed out of committee in California that would make it an infraction to have a 5 ng/ml blood level for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol to drive a vehicle, and also a zero tolerance of persons under 21. The bills (Senate Bill 65 and Senate Bill 698) passed out of the Committee on Public Safety without a single no vote (2 abstained on one of the bills). The bill now moves to the Committee on Appropriations.

The DUII bills were introduced by California’s Senator Hill, and are supported by all the usual suspects in the law enforcement industry, which is large in California. 20 or 30 sheriff, police and district attorney associations endorsed the bills. SB 65 was heavily amended and the requirement for drug treatment was pulled from the bill before passing. No drug treatment was included in SB 698, either, which covers those under 21 years of age who are found with any detectable THC in their system.

In the support of the bills the author explains, “There’s no standard for marijuana impairment like the .08 blood alcohol content threshold used for drunk driving because technology for a roadside test of marijuana use is still being developed…SB 65 would make it an infraction for anyone to smoke or consume marijuana in any form while driving a vehicle, consistent with the law on drinking while operating a vehicle.”

The California Police Chiefs Association stated, in support of the 5ng/ml limit, “The current lack of tools for law enforcement to both identify and measure marijuana-impaired driving, coupled with the lack of statute addressing drugged driving, sends the message to the public that drugged driving is not as serious of an issue as drunk driving.”

The ACLU, who opposes the use of a the impairment blood test, explains in opposition, “we do not believe that the roadside chemical tests for the presence of marijuana are sufficiently reliable to serve as the basis for a license suspension and other legal consequences…To our knowledge, these tests cannot distinguish between trace levels of marijuana that might be the result of second hand smoke and levels that would be indicative that the driver himself or herself consumed the marijuana within a short period of time.”

© 2017 Oregon Cannabis Connection. All rights reserved.


William Stash Jones

William "Stash" Jones is a medical marijuana patient and medical cannabis advocate. He focuses on medical cannabis and its benefits, and believes that medical cannabis is the solution to many problems in medicine today.

stashjones has 125 posts and counting.See all posts by stashjones

4 thoughts on “5 Nanogram THC Limit Coming To California?

  • 04/26/2017 at 1:33 pm

    How stupid. Obviously the LEO lobby has the ear of some important legislators in CA. They’re not being scientific about this at all…there is no scientific data showing that 5 ng/ml THC in your system causes impairment. There is a lot of anecdotal evidence that even higher amounts of cannabis are safe. Medical cannabis patients regularly drive safely with very high THC concentrations.

  • 04/27/2017 at 3:28 am

    The impairment level for marijuana should be just the same as the impairment level that results from .08 blood alcohol. This requires actually measuring impairment. I have developed an app called DRUID (an acronym for “DRiving Under the Influence of Drugs”), now in the App Store for the iPad and iPhone (Android version coming soon). DRUID measures reaction time, hand-eye coordination, balance, time estimation, and decision making and integrates all the measures into an overall impairment score. DRUID demonstrates that measuring marijuana impairment is available now. The app also permits individuals to assess their own level of impairment (or that of the designated driver) and determine whether they are impaired. See more at http://www.druidapp.com

    DRUID was recently featured on All Things Considered: http://www.npr.org/2017/01/25/511595978/can-sobriety-tests-weed-out-drivers-whove-smoked-too-much-weed

    and on television: http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2017/02/28/science-lags-behind-marijuana-impairment-testing/

    After getting my Ph.D. at Harvard, I have been a professor in the Psychology Department at UMass/Boston for 40 years, with a specialty in research methods, measurement and statistics.

    Michael Milburn, Professor
    Psychology Department

  • 05/01/2017 at 10:03 pm

    This report is inaccurate. The committee was highly skeptical of per se limits. Both bills were heavily watered down. The provision making it an infraction to have 5 ng/ml only applies for persons who also have .04-.07% alcohol AND have failed a field sobriety test. A three-year sunset was also added. Another provision that would have authorized use of unproven oral swab tests was deleted.

  • 05/03/2017 at 2:04 am

    government needs to mind their own business or we the people will vote them all out.

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