Marijuana DUIs Went Up 76% In Nevada With Per Se Limit


Law Office of Joel M. Mann

Numbers Put The Lie To Claims Washington’s I-502 Won’t Harm Patients

Driving under the influence of marijuana. It’s the new scare tactic used by prohibitionists and drug warriors as an argument against the legalization of cannabis. Unfortunately, it’s also used by some people who are supposed to be on our side as a political wedge issue to gain support for Initiative 502, a Washington legalization measure that includes blood THC limits as per se proof that you’re guilty of DUI.

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, despite its opposition as an organization to per se marijuana DUI testing, has endorsed I-502, warts and all. This seeming contradiction — wherein NORML supports per se testing in Washington, after having opposed it in medical marijuana states like Colorado and California — occurs because, NORML says, it’s important to pass an initiative, any initiative, to “send the Feds a message.”
Well, if the message you’re sending them is “open season on medical marijuana patients,” then congratulations; mission accomplished! Otherwise, not so much.

The Weed Blog
NORML’s “Radical” Russ Belville thinks a “huge rash of DUIs” which might follow passage of I-502’s per se THC blood limits might really be a good thing.

​”Radical” Russ Belville has served as NORML’s main attack dog against those who point out the flaws of I-502, engaging in such unseemly grade-school antics as calling this website “Tool of the Town” for having the temerity to point out the huge flaws in I-502.
But Belville, in attempting to buttress his pro-502 case — he admits his goal was “punching a hole in the scaremongering around I-502” — just gave us one of the biggest anti-502 weapons imaginable.
After Nevada enacted a strict “per se” law restricting the amount of THC motorists are allowed to have in their blood, “drugged driving” arrests increased 76 percent statewide, reports Keegan Hamilton at Seattle Weekly.
When a similar policy took effect in Ohio, arrests there decreased by a modest 4.8 percent.
What’s the difference between Nevada and Ohio?
You guessed it. Nevada is a medical marijuana state, and has been for a decade.

What do you bet that a big portion of that 76 percent increase in cannabis DUIs came at the expense of medical marijuana patients — many of whom must medicate at a level such that they will show up over the limit any time they are tested?

But Belville apparently thinks that law enforcement rounding up large numbers of (non-impaired, mind you) medical marijuana patients would ultimately be a good thing.
“Even if I-502 passes and our worse nightmare comes true and there’s a huge rash of DUIs, there will be outrage from a public that voted for legal marijuana that says ‘What’s going on here? I thought we legalized that.’ “
Washington patients, how do you feel about becoming part a “huge rash of DUIs?” Radical Russ seems to think you should take one for the cause.