Legislation to impose presumptive impairment standards in cases where low levels of THC is detected in the blood, LD 1628, has died after lawmakers in the House and Senate failed reach concurrence on the bill’s amended language.
The measure stated that the detection of 5 ng/ml or more of THC in a driver’s blood “gives rise to a permissible inference … that [a] person is under the influence of intoxicants.” It further stated that the detection of 2ng/ml of THC in blood, when identified in combination with alcohol, similarly infers impairment.
The presence of low levels of THC in blood is an inappropriate and inconsistent indicator of psychomotor impairment. No less than the United States Traffic Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) agrees, stating, “It is difficult to establish a relationship between a person’s THC blood or plasma concentration and performance impairing effects. … It is inadvisable to try and predict effects based on blood THC concentrations alone.” It should not be presumed that the detection of THC equates with a strong likelihood psychomotor impairment and such a presumption should not be codified in Maine’s traffic safety statutes. The imposition and enforcement of this measure risks inappropriately convicting unimpaired subjects of traffic safety violations.
NORML would like to thank those of you who contacted your state lawmakers and urged them to reject this measure.