In a few short weeks, Washington voters will vote on Initiative 502, which legalizes, taxes, and regulates the sale of small amounts of marijuana. Polls show that there are more people that favor I-502 than those that oppose it. However, there one group of entrepreneurs is trying to mount some opposition to this ballot item. It may surprise you to learn that this group is made up of medical marijuana activists. These entrepreneurs, many of whom already sell products for patients who have prescriptions for medical marijuana, are worried about a specific provision in I-502.
If passed, the measure would institute a level of five nanograms per milliliter of blood of THC above which would empower the prosecutors to file DUI charges. It would the similar to the .08 breath alcohol standard. The idea is that over that amount you could be charged with DUI.
But medical marijuana activists say that the 5 ng/ml level is unacceptable, because patients who use medical marijuana have THC concentrations that are above that ceiling most or all of the time. Not only may these patients ingest marijuana several times per day, but THC tends to be stored in the fat cells of the body and linger in the bloodstream for many hours after a person has stopped taking marijuana. These activists claim that the consequences of the measure would be a ban on medical marijuana patients from driving.
Some proponents of I-502 claim that these entrepreneurs are upset about the proposal because their market share will become diluted once marijuana is legalized. Others feel that those who are sick enough to require a prescription for medical marijuana shouldn't be allowed to drive anyway for safety reasons. What do you think?