By Steve Elliott
In a refreshing show of common sense, some Nevada lawmakers say that medical marijuana patients shouldn't be punished as if they were impaired when driving, just because they have small amounts of marijuana in their systems.
That idea inspired an intense debate in the Nevada Assembly when Majority Leader William Horne (D-Las Vegas) unveiled AB 351 to the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, reports Matt Woolbright of The Associated Press.
"Marijuana is currently the only drug we have a limit where we say, 'You have this much, so you must be impaired,' " Horne told members of the committee. "I think that's unfair."
Drivers with traces of cannabis in their blood are considered impaired under current Nevada law, and are guilty of driving under the influence. The same concept applies to the blood alcohol content of drunken drivers.
But this bill would remove the per se power of marijuana metabolites for medical marijuana patients. Prosecutors would still be able to use the blood test to bolster their case, but more proof would be required to prove the driver was impaired.
"I don't have a problem with the per se limits being there for everybody else," Horne said. "What I am saying is, for a patient, those per se limits should not apply because we don't apply them to any other drug."