Earlier today, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed an executive order adding Amendment 64 to the state's constitution. In case you're not up to date on your Colorado state amendments, this means recreational use of marijuana is now legal in Colorado. Great news. But decriminalized weed raises several interesting legal challenges, the most challenging of which is: How high is too high to drive?
Hickenlooper created a task force to deal with the issue, along with other, more administrative problems (taxation, permits, etc.) related to the new law.
"This is a bit of unprecedented territory, so trying to find the right approach has proven difficult and cumbersome," Rep. Dan Pabon, a Democrat appointed to the task force, told CBS News.
Washington State, which legalized marijuana last week, set the limit at 5 nanograms of THC per mililiter of blood, but that measure failed to pass in the Colorado legislature. Another option currently being debated is something called "rebuttable presumption," which states that if someone is caught with THC in their system while driving, they'll have a chance to defend their case in front of a jury, who will, based on the evidence, decide if that person was in fact too stoned to be behind the wheel.
Pabon favors a more flexible system instead of one based on a single test. "Someone can be high speeding, but that doesn't necessarily mean that their level of THC caused them to speed. They could be a bad driver," Pabon said, which, good point.
Even the National Organizaiton to Reform Marijuana Laws (NORML) admits marijuana-impaired driving presents a challenge. Larry Frieling, the organization's chair, said there's no simple solution, like a road side sobriety test.
"What we're learning more about is how you measure impaired driving," Frieling, the chair of NORML, said. "If you can stand on one leg and bounce up and down does that mean you can drive or not?"
Also a good point.
But real life stoners aren't so sure driving high is even a problem in the first place. According to "Eric," some guy CBS probably found wandering around New York, being high actually makes you a better driver.
"I notice the signs more, and the lights," he said. "I think it makes me drive better ... You just want to avoid trouble at all costs. It would be unfair if [the laws] were the same as drunk driving."
Why? Because you're so paranoid.
"My safety becomes way more important to me, just because of what the drug does to you," he said.
The task force has two months to figure out an effective system, which will be implemented July 1.
[Image via AP]