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Ohio's "Drugged Driving" laws

Let's talk about pot.

It is bad for you to smoke. Smoking in general is bad. If you are high you should not be driving a vehicle. In Texas, we have a universal catch-all law. If a driver is thought to be impared by a cop, it is a "DWI" or, Driving While Intoxicated. This usually deals with alcohol, but it has been used to prosecute people on perscription medication, pot, coke, etc.

Today, the Ohio legislature passed a new law aimed specifically at "Drugged Drivers." The unfortunate thing is that it does not take into account the real effects of drugs, specifically pot.

Pot stays in your system for up to two weeks. When you smoke it, you are high for a few hours. Under this new law, a completely sober person could be pulled over and charged with driving drugged.

From NORML ...
NORML regrets to inform you that earlier this week the House and Senate gave final approval to Senate Bill 8, Ohio’s proposed per se “drugged driving” bill. While some of our allies on the House Criminal Justice Committee valiantly tried to address some of our concerns by introducing several amendments to the bill, SB 8 – as approved by both chambers – would still potentially punish marijuana smokers for "drugged driving," even if the individual is neither under the influence nor impaired to drive.

The bill is expected to be signed into law by the Governor, whose administration lobbied for its passage, and will take effect 90 days after his approval. Ohio is only the third state to pass per se DUID legislation for motorists with trace levels of THC in their blood, and it is the sixth state to criminalize motorists who drive with levels of non-psychoactive marijuana metabolites in their bodily fluids. (Please see NORML’s comprehensive report, You Are Going Directly To Jail: DUID Legislation – What It Means, Who’s Behind It, and Strategies to Prevent It, for more information about state DUID laws, penalties, and how these laws disproportionately impact cannabis consumers.

You may access the report here: http://www.norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=6492

This pending law represents an all out assault on Ohio’s marijuana smoking community. Because marijuana's main metabolite, THC-COOH, remains detectable in certain bodily fluids, particularly urine, for days and sometimes weeks after past use, this legislation seeks to define sober drivers as if they were intoxicated. Someone who smokes marijuana is impaired as a driver at most for a few hours; certainly not for days or weeks. To treat all marijuana smokers as if they are impaired, even when the drug's effects have long worn off, is illogical and unfair.
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