Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Cops And Judges Ask California Legislator to Withdraw Marijuana DUI Bill

 Law Enforcers Say Bill Will Criminalize Legal Medical Marijuana Patients & Distract Police

  SACRAMENTO, CA -- A group of former California police officers, prosecutors and judges issued a letter today asking Assemblymember Norma Torres to withdraw a bill she has introduced that would criminalize driving with any amount of cannabinoids in the body. The criminal justice professionals, members of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), say that the standards created by the bill have nothing to do with actual impairment behind the wheel and will criminalize the state's legal medical marijuana patients.

The letter reads, in part, "Zero tolerance has a nice ring to it, but most all applications of this overused (and clichéd)
concept result in harmful unintended consequences. Zero tolerance relieves the decision-maker of the burden of making sound legal judgments and routinely produces more harm than good. It is absolutely conceivable that, if passed, this bill will become the foundation for DUI checkpoint abuses where the answer to the simple question, 'are you a legal medical cannabis patient?' will result in arrest and conviction under circumstances where impaired driving never occurred. And if it happens to the same patient on three occasions, they will face a mandatory ten-year prison sentence, all while still being innocent."

Stephen Downing, a retired deputy chief of police with the Los Angeles Police Department, says, "Keeping impaired drivers off the road is one of law enforcement's most important jobs, but this bill has no basis in science. Enacting this legislation would not only be disastrous for our state's legal medical marijuana patients, but would
impede public safety for all Californians by distracting police from catching actually dangerous drivers. Assemblymember Torres should withdraw this legislation immediately."

Assemblymember Torres's bill, AB 2552, was introduced on February 24 and has been referred to the Assembly Committee on Public Safety, which is chaired by medical marijuana supporter Assemblymember Tom Ammiano. The full text of the bill can be read at http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/11-12/bill/asm/ab_2551-2600/ab_2552_bill_20120224_introduced.html

The letter urging Assemblymember Torres to withdraw the bill, signed by ten former law enforcement officials, is online at http://www.leap.cc/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/AB2552.pdf

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) represents police, prosecutors, judges, prison wardens, federal agents and others who fought on the front lines of the "war on drugs" and learned firsthand that punitive prohibitionist policies only serve to worsen addiction and violence. More info at http://www.CopsSayLegalizeDrugs.com.

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CONTACT: Tom Angell - (202) 557-4979 or media@leap.cc


  1. I must comment on this since our current technology does not have any way to indicate 'intoxication' to point of causing a driver to be what we call 'intoxicated'. I know I need to clarify this, of those who smoke, I understand that you can find traces of Marijuana in the blood stream for about 30 days after it's use. Even an extremely intoxicated individual would not be 'intoxicated' a few days after use, yet still indicate use and therefore, with this legislation, DUI. Our government has gone far enough to find an indicator that can confirm use, but have no idea if that is related to any kind of 'intoxication' level. In Canada you can purchase the seed shell of the Cannabis plant and it's use in vegetarian diets is apparently high since it has lots of good things in it, yet no THC. No matter how much you eat, you will not get high, yet it's supposed to have a nice almond like taste. And, of course, it's illegal here in the USA! I'm sure you would come around 'intoxicated' with this product and this is a good example of why these zero tolerance laws are a failure within themselves.

  2. Some (what feels like most of) government officials are clinging to the basis that marijuana = horrible. Reefer Madness in itself was a perfect example on how higher ups will manipulate prohibition cooperation via scare tactics. I don't understand why the US has such a hard time seeing the facts. More than half of citizens support AT LEAST the potential medicinal uses of marijuana. The government was put in place to serve the people. Now we don't have much of a say.

    I guess I just see the facts.

  3. You are typing about hemp foods, Jack, not cannabis. Hemp foods have virtually zero THC. https://www.facebook.com/LivingHarvestFoods/app_4949752878

  4. Anyone who drives under the influence of drugs is dangerous, so in the case of drivers on the road marijuana does = HORRIBLE!! Just like those who say it's likely no big deal to drive drunk, those who say it's no big deal to drive high are wrong!! Drive while impared by alcohol, marijuana, meth, prescibed drugs or anything is A DANGER TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC!! Assemblymember Torres' law maybe poorly crafted but it's in the right place. She should rewrite it to make more specific. Remember there are many of us who do not believe in legalization and the scaping of all drugs law. In my perfect world some drugs would be decriminalized, no one would go to jail for simple possession or personal use, unlicenced sellers and dealers would however. As would those who endanger the public by driving under the influence!

    1. Hilarious with life on the Pharm bein' what it is right now,
      there are so many fuzzy brains out there I guess we have to take our lumps, no way to clean this place up. What about people who have come down off their Starbucks Vente driving with one eye shut?

  5. There is no hypocricy in thinking that marijuana is useful as a medicine and should be available as such, and that it should be legalized.


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