DENVER — One of the sponsors of a bill that aims to set a threshold for the level of marijuana in a driver’s bloodstream unsuccessfully tried to make it a little higher on Tuesday.
Rep. Claire Levy, D-Boulder, is sponsoring HB1261 along with Rep. Mark Waller, R-Colorado Springs. The bill would create a standard for charging motorists with driving under the influence of marijuana.
The legal limit of THC, the active intoxicant in marijuana, set forth in the bill is 5 nanograms per liter of blood. Waller said that figure was agreed upon by criminal justice experts and scientists as a reasonable measure of impairment.
For years, technology did not exist to measure the active level of THC in the bloodstream, but now that it does, and because the Colorado Constitution includes a medical marijuana amendment, a standard for what is too high to drive is in order, Waller said.
Levy sought to raise the legal limit to 8 nanograms on Tuesday. A competing amendment sought to lower it to 2 nanograms, but was withdrawn.
Levy’s proposed change failed. Waller, a former Pueblo prosecutor, was among the opponents of the change, and characterized it as arbitrary.