Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 974, that prohibits individuals from operating a motor vehicle if they have any “detectable level” of THC or its inert metabolite THC-COOH present in their blood. Members of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee will hear testimony on this bill on March 2nd at 1pm. NORML opposes this proposal.
The presence of low levels of THC or its inert metabolite THC-COOH 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, and currently impossible to predict specific effects based on THC-COOH concentrations.”
It should not be presumed that the detection of THC or its THC-COOH metabolite is predictive of psychomotor impairment and such a presumption should not be codified in Maryland’s traffic safety statutes. The imposition and enforcement of this measure risks inappropriately convicting unimpaired subjects of traffic safety violations.
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