Here's the problem. For years now, we've been asking the public to "treat marijuana like alcohol." So, now they are. Alcohol has a magic number that says you're guilty, so should marijuana, in their view.
People responding to this keep quoting the science, as if science and reason ever have much to do with our laws. Yes, there are chronic tokers who will be unimpaired at 5ng/mL, but guess what? There are some alcoholics who are unimpaired at 0.08 BAC, too.
The per se limits aren't the public saying "we do not want impaired drivers". It is the public saying "we don't want people who just drank or just toked to get behind the wheel." And it is difficult to use the "but we're not impaired at 5ng" argument with the public, because then you have to admit the reason you aren't impaired is you smoke so much pot all day all the time that you're always above 5ng. The defense of "We're OK to drive because we smoke pot all the time" doesn't work against "we don't want people who just toked behind the wheel."
The smart political move here would be to lobby for higher than a 5ng limit, somewhere between 10 and 50. It would shift the debate from "no limits! / 5ng limits!" to "5ng is just right / 5ng is too low" and send the public the message that tokers' opposition to the per se isn't because they want to be free to drive high, but that the number is wrong. It would cast us as being "pro-public safety".
After a loss in 2011, reincarnated to a loss on a voice vote, reincarnated to a loss in a filibuster, reincarnated now with a special session, it seems obvious there is enormous political will to pass this thing. So get it passed with 10ng or something higher. Then pass legalization in November. Then you're all legal consumers of a legal product arguing for fairer DUI standards rather than illegal tokers fighting for the right to drive high.
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