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April 18, 2016

Proposed CA Law Would Target Drivers With 5ng THC Blood Level

SACRAMENTO, Calif.—It's come to our attention that one or two adult industry members smoke pot, either medicinally, which is legal, or for recreation, which is still illegal, but may to be legalized in November—and it's such an eventuality that Assembly Bill 2740 appears to target. Under the bill, whose text can be found here, it would be a violation of the Motor Vehicle Code for anyone who was found to have 5 ng/ml or more of delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the active ingredient in marijuana, in his/her blood while operating a motor vehicle. The bill is scheduled to be heard before the Assembly's Committee on Public Safety tomorrow, April 19. Understand, an "ng" is a nanogram, defined as one-billionth of a gram—an infinitesimal amount that is unlikely to have any profound physical effect—nor would five times that amount, especially when considering that the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) notes that a single puff on a joint can result in 7-18 ng/ml blood concentration. And that's above the minimum level targeted by this bill! "It is difficult to establish a relationship between a person's THC blood or plasma concentration and performance impairing effects," the NHTSA reports in the section titled "Interpretation of Blood Concentrations." "Concentrations of parent drug and metabolite are very dependent on pattern of use as well as dose... It is inadvisable to try and predict effects based on blood THC concentrations alone, and currently impossible to predict specific effects based on THC-COOH concentrations." The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) has taken a position against this bill, and is urging those who feel similarly to let their representatives in Sacramento know of their opposition. A petition opposing passage of AB 2740 can be found here.

 
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