HB1261, the THC/DUI bill, will be heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee
on April 11, 2011. This will be the final opportunity for public comment on
Senate Judiciary Committee
Hearing on HB 11-1261
DATE: Mon., April 11, 2011
LOCATION: Capitol Building, 200 E. Colfax, Denver, CO
ROOM: Old Supreme Court Chambers, 2nd Floor
YOUR PHONE CALLS AND EMAILS ARE WORKING!!!
We have had some *positive feedback* from Senators that they are listening
to our concerns about patients.
KEEP YOUR PHONE CALLS AND EMAILS COMING!(see below)
WARNING: DUI/THC BLOOD DRAWS ALREADY ON THE RISE
The Denver Post last week reported that the number of blood samples sent to the health department (CDPHE) by police to be tested for THC has been rapidly increasing since 2009. In 2009, the police sent about 800 blood samples to the CDPHE. In 2010, the number of blood samples taken by police doubled to over 1600 tests. In 2011, police have sent the CDPHE over 1100 tests, in just the first three months of the year.
The CDPHE cannot handle this large influx in blood samples, so currently has a backlog of 1,176 samples waiting to be tested.
In 2010, 29% of the samples tested had THC greater than 5ng/mL, and some of the samples also tested positive for another drug.
NOTE TO MMC-APPLICANTS
This bill is a direct attack on your patients. There have been very few MMC-applicants attending these hearings or sending letters about the issue. It's time to STEP UP for your patients and help fight this bill. If you think you don't have time to participate in politics, then donate to CTI so we have more resources to fight on your behalf.
HB1261 seeks to ban patients from driving privileges by setting a limit on THC in the blood that most patients will always exceed. Any driver with an amount of THC over 5 nanograms/milliliter in their blood will be considered impaired and guilty of DUI per se and subject to loss of their driver's license. This will greatly impact patients, because many of them will test over that limit and not be impaired, due to their chronic use.
- HB1261 is unfair to medical marijuana patients and will force patients back on prescription medications that do not have nanogram levels and are not routinely tested for by the police.
- HB1261 will require a "forced blood draw", forcing anyone suspected of driving under the influence of THC to submit to a blood draw forced by the state. Currently, alcohol levels can be tested through urine, breath or
blood. But under the THC/DUI bill, the nanogram count can only come from a forced blood draw.
- The sponsor of HB1261, Rep. Claire Levy (D-Boulder) admits that she cannot point to one single accident caused solely by marijuana and that the research on setting a nanogram limit as evidence of impairment is "all over the place."
- Contrary to other reports, the "per se" part of the bill has *not* been removed. This means that a person charged with THC/DUI can still introduce evidence that their blood level was below the "per se" number, but cannot introduce evidence that, in spite of the number, they were not impaired.
- Ask your Representative to remove the "per se" standard from the bill and allow patients to present behavioral evidence that they were not impaired.
- Ask your Representative to include an exemption for medical marijuana patients.
- Rep. Levy says the 5ng/mL limit is based on an "intuitive feeling" and not actual research:
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