I received the following e-mail message from United States Representative Jared Polis earlier this week:
WASHINGTON, DC ---Representative Jared Polis (CO-02) today introduced the Limiting Unsafe Cannabis-Impaired Driving (LUCID) Act which would create a national benchmark to protect citizens from drivers under the influence of marijuana. The bill would expand the federal definition of an impaired driver to include those who have a cognitive or physical impairment due to the use of marijuana.
"As more and more states follow the will of their citizens and implement regulations to treat marijuana like alcohol, it is vital that we keep our roads safe and save lives by updating our driving under the influence laws," said Representative Polis. "The LUCID Act creates a single federal standard that will protect the public from impaired drivers and train law enforcement officials to effectively identify offenders. I encourage my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to work quickly to advance this legislation and keep impaired drivers, no matter what impaired them, off the road."
"It is imperative that with the likelihood of the majority of states in the union moving toward legalizing the use of either medical or recreational marijuana or both, that all states adopt robust legislation to prevent and deter driving under the influence of marijuana," said Tom Raynes, Executive Director, Colorado District Attorneys' Council.
"As an organization dedicated to reducing the negative results of substance abuse, Team Fort Collins applauds any effort to put forth meaningful legislation designed to impact those negative results," said Ashley Kasprzak, Executive Director, Team Fort Collins. "It is recognized that driving under the influence of alcohol laws and related enforcement have had major, beneficial impacts on the driving public. The support for such laws is all but universal. While recognizing that similar enforcement issues related to marijuana legalization is new, Team Fort Collins supports efforts to create practical legislation to address the impact of legal marijuana use in the driving community. Rep. Polis' efforts to make driving under the influence of marijuana enforcement consistent with laws related to driving under the influence of alcohol enforcement, seems logical and practical. Team Fort Collins appreciates the recognition by Congressman Polis to address those issues."
This legislation would make a state ineligible for federal funds granted when they are in compliance with federal regulations designed to prevent operation of motor vehicles by intoxicated persons, if the state has legalized medicinal or recreational marijuana. States would also be permitted to implement their own laws regarding marijuana-impaired driving if such impairment appears alongside alcohol-impaired driving.
Other organizations supporting this legislation include:
Governor John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Colorado Department of Transportation
Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police