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Despite Much Progress, Cannabis Users Still Face Unnecessary Risks

May 17th

In September, 2011, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms banned state law-abiding medical cannabis patients from owning firearms. A bureaucratic decider simply swiped away hundreds of thousands of Americans’ Second Amendment rights by way of an added item on a pre-sale questionnaire.

Using an ancient herb as recommended by your doctor, one that any law enforcer will tell you makes people less aggressive? Sorry. Whacked on Oxycontin? Fire away.

My friend Carl, a Vietnam veteran, concealed handgun permit holder, political conservative of the John Wayne school and New Mexico medical cannabis patient, is apoplectic about the policy. “I can’t believe I lose my rights because I’m receiving treatment. I defended this country’s freedoms.”

This is just one example of key ancillary details that need to be fixed as America’s Longest War limps to its federal demise. Another is arbitrary limits on or zero tolerance of bloodstream THC when driving, even by locally-Kosher cannabis fans: if you legally used cannabis three weeks ago at the Ziggy Marley concert in Washington, you can, absurdly, be found to be impaired today.

In addition to the mining of the harbor that such unacceptably policy represents among those sore losers, the retreating Drug Warriors, this again shows the risk that any cannabis enjoyer faces. These unscientif. . . . . READ MORE

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Stoned Driving Limits: You Asked to “Treat it like Alcohol”

May 11th

sobriety test

With Washington State’s I-502 legalization came a 5ng/ml limit of active THC in blood.  This is now per se evidence to convict on a DUI charge.

In Colorado, the governor is poised to sign a bill creating a 5ng/ml limit that has failed to pass in six previous attempts.  This would set a permissible inference of guilt on a DUI charge.

To my fellow supporters of marijuana legalization, I’m reminded of the saying, “Be careful what you wish for because you might get it.”

Before I explain that, let’s make sure everyone reading is familiar with the concepts:

  • These limits in Colorado and Washington refer to active THC in the blood, not the inactive metabolites you get busted for on a workplace pee test, sometimes days or weeks after cannabis use.
  • per se limit means you’re automatically guilty and have no defense.  You could be driving absolutely perfectly and still be guilty of a DUI if your blood is >5ng/ml.
  • permissible inference means that you’re presumed to be guilty, but you can defend yourself if you can prove you weren’t driving impaired, even if your blood is >5ng/ml.

Now, back to our wishes.  For years now, we have been lobbying . . . . . READ MORE

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