Feb 252015
 February 25, 2015

oregon marijuana duii drivingNo one should drive when they have consumed too much marijuana. A responsible person knows if they are impaired from marijuana or not, and whether they are too impaired to operate a motor vehicle. With that being said, marijuana stays in your system for weeks after consumption, and current approaches to detecting if someone is a stoned driver can’t differentiate whether a person has consumed marijuana prior to getting behind the wheel, or weeks prior.

And even if there was a way to differentiate, such as determining how much active THC is in a person’s blood, there isn’t a per se limit in Oregon like there is with alcohol. If you have a blood alcohol level of .08 in Oregon as an adult and you are caught driving, you are passed the threshold of what Oregon law recognizes as being too intoxicated. Oregon’s Implied Consent law doesn’t list a limit like that for marijuana. These are factors that Oregon’s Legislature is trying to tackle right now, and it appears that politicians are using this as an opportunity to overhaul Oregon’s DUII laws.

Right now in Oregon, drawing blood for DUII purposes requires a warrant, unless you were involved in a serious accident and the hospital gives law enforcement a sample of your blood while you are there. Imagine if that changed, and law enforcement no longer needed a warrant. That’s what would happen with Oregon House Bill 3170. The bill adds blood to the Implied Consent law, meaning that if you are on a public road, your consent to a blood draw is already implied. If you refuse the blood draw, whether you have marijuana in your system or not, you automatically lose your license for a year. That’s the type of stuff that gives me nightmares. The bill is so poorly written that it doesn’t even state what the failing limit would be for marijuana, or any substance, just that they can draw your blood and test it and use it as evidence at court if you try to fight it. Or again, if you refuse, you automatically lose your license for a year.

If that bill wasn’t bad enough, there’s also Oregon House Bill 2371. The summary on the bill is as follows:

Provides that evidence of test administered, or observation made, by police officer as part of drug recognition evaluation is admissible in judicial or administrative proceeding if certain conditions are met.

That doesn’t sound too scary, if the rules around testing and observations are fair. But who gets to make the rules you ask? Again referring to the bill:

The Department of State Police by rule shall establish the tests and observations required for drug recognition evaluations that are used for the purpose of determining whether a person is under the influence of intoxicants.

So let’s say both of these bills pass and are implemented. The cops can ask you to get out of a car, give you whatever test the Oregon State Police determine is a good way to accuse you of being under the influence of marijuana, can then draw your blood without a warrant, and use it against you in court. And if you object and refuse to any of that, you automatically lose your license.

Add to this situation Oregon Senate Bill 13. DUII checkpoints have been illegal in Oregon since the 1980’s. But if Senate Bill 13 is approved, DUII checkpoints would be legal again. Senate Bill 13 would require a change to Oregon’s Constitution, so it would first have to be referred to voters, but just the thought that I would have to go through one of those ever in my life, completely sober, but I have THC in my blood stream…That would be about the time that I give up driving and start walking everywhere. That is a horrible scenario.

If you live in Oregon, contact your Senator and Representative and let them know that this is unacceptable. This affects even people that don’t consume marijuana. People that have done nothing wrong shouldn’t be subjected to blood draws because an officer has an unproven hunch that they may have marijuana in their system at a DUII checkpoint. There are a lot of lobbyists working on marijuana policy this session at the Oregon Capital (17 I heard last). I hear about a lot of them working on the business side of marijuana policy, but I haven’t heard too many people talking about these pieces of legislation. We need all hands on deck friends. Contact your legislators, and tell everyone else you know to do the same.

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  27 Responses to “Multiple DUII Bills Introduced In Oregon, Aimed At Marijuana Drivers”

  1.  

    With the amount of social media out there, good luck trying to keep a DUI Checkpoint a ‘Secret’, ..And as far as the vote to change our Constitution; Think about it: We Just Legalized Marijuana! So now you have liberals Voting ‘NO’ & Older Conservative Drinkers Voting ‘NO’ ROFLMAO!!

  2.  

    Johnny, please publish the names and districts of all sponsors of these bills. Thanks.

    •  

      Yes Johnny! Do that! Let’s do everything we can to let people know which politicians are working against their intentions. Name Names!! (and party affiliations and sponsors while we’re at it)

  3.  

    There is no bill needed to address this. DWUI laws cover all this crap to begin with. If you are pulled over and the law enforcement officer believes you to be impaired it does not matter what is in your system, or how much, and they can arrest you. All an officer needs to do is prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you should not be behind a wheel.
    More needless bureaucracy to waste more tax dollars.

    •  

      Its really just politics….meant to appease a portion of the establishment that refuses to let go of their antiquated notions about reality

  4.  

    It almost seems like a game of pop a mole..the anti-cannabis people are going nuts trying to stop it..any method to keep ‘pot heads’ under control..even when something like checkpoints will probably catch just as many drinkers, if not more, than smokers!

  5.  

    Marijuana is NOT linked to car crashes. Might as well start testing peoples blood for antihistamines too. Hell, this is just a scheme to provide police and enforcement with added revenue while continuing to beat the prohibition drum. They’d be doing urine and breathalizers for road rage and bad intentions if they could get away with it. They are afraid of losing their money and power to legal marijuana. Its their revenge for legalization. Its our punishment. It will do nothing to make safer roads. It will claim the innocent. Its just wrong.

  6.  

    I approve legal marijuana. However, users cannot have the cake and eat it too. If you put your self under the influence then you should not drive, and law enforcement should be empowered to punish harshly any offenders that put at risk others’ lifes.

  7.  

    People voted specifically in Measure 91 to NOT amend current marijuana DUI statutes. Once again, the legislature goes against the will of the voters.

  8.  

    The reason Cannabis stays in the blood and body so long is because the body not only doesn’t see it as a threat – our bodies like and need the cannabinoids for proper bodily function. Homeostasis – balance. The body knows this is good stuff and I need to retain as much extra as I can in the fat cells for future lean times.

    Alcohol, Heroine, Cocaine – all are expelled with extreme prejudice from the body within a few days – cause that stuff is BAD for you. Not so with Cannabis. Hmmmm?

    The whole thought process regarding cannabis metabolites in the body needs to be stood on it’s head. It needs to start with us – consumers.

    •  

      it’s because the resins are fat soluble,not water soluble, so it takes longer for the metabolism to wash them out

      •  

        Is that incompatible w/ what 2buds4me is saying about cannabis metabolites? The body does after all have an endocannabinoid system.

        •  

          Lead stays in the system a long time too . The same reasoning would suggest this means that humans need lead in their systems.

  9.  

    Playing the tuba while driving is dangerous, too. But since we don’t have a problem with tuba-playing car accidents, we don’t need a law against it, do we?
    If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.

  10.  

    I’ve never had an accident, and have driven extremely stoned on my bike, and in many cars
    They lie, say we are all are mental cases, the people who prohibit our constitutional rights are the people the feds and the cops should be looking for

  11.  

    Getting on the road implies you will pass a sobriety test. Are these guys going to test everyone’s “blood sugar” to make sure they aren’t impaired from the rampant diabetes?

    Besides, its pretty worthless given that there is 1,000’s of psychotropic substances and even combinations of foods which can be psychotropic to some people.

  12.  

    Coffee addicts on the road that go twice the speed limit are dangerous. Quitting nicotine and losing your sense of time and awareness is dangerous too. I still don’t condone driving under any influence. Cannabis needs a “Use Responsibly” sticker and a “No one under 21” sticker like you see on beer cans.

  13.  

    This generation is full of multi tasking and people multi task while driving; that is dangerous as well, and although there are laws against multi tasking and using a cell phone while driving I don’t see it enforced as much as it should, and I don’t see people outspoken about this issue. People complain most about what they should least worry about.

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