Colorado Marijuana Testing Improvements May Change DUI Laws
1If you've followed along at all between Colorado originally legalizing recreational marijuana in 2012 and today, you probably know that because we were one of the first states to do so, there have been a lot of experiments that have taken place in regards to it in the last 10+ years.
Because we're one of the 'guinea pig states' when it comes to legal weed, many changes have taken place, out of necessity more times than not, and it is looking like 2023 will be seeing some big changes regarding Colorado's DUI laws with relation to marijuana.
What's Going on with Marijuana DUI Laws in Colorado?
Some Colorado lawmakers, led by Colorado state representative Hugh McKean, are working hard to improve DUI laws in Colorado with regard to marijuana.
While alcohol levels are easy to test for and determine if a driver is impaired, THC, the chemical in marijuana that gives users the 'high,' is much more elusive.
As it stands, Colorado law states that if a person has 5 nanograms of THC in their system while behind the wheel, they're impaired. However, critics of this policy argue that this method is unreliable as THC affects heavy users and occasional users much differently.
For example, a heavy user of marijuana can still test positive for 5+ nanograms of THC in their system for as many as 12 hours, long after feeling the effect of the 'high,' whereas less-heavy users' systems won't have as much THC present after the same amount of time.
McKean is currently working to revamp the standard and has introduced a bill aimed at researching how to better and more accurately test how impaired a driver is because of THC. Ideally, Colorado would introduce a new device that would be able to test motorists based on impairment rather than a cut-and-dry THC level test.
If all goes as planned, we should see something of this nature come into fruition in June of 2023 which is when the deadline has been set for this specific research.