Performance-Based Testing being Considered for Driving under the Influence of Marijuana Charges
Section 484C.110 of the Nevada Revised Statute currently sets the standard for violations of driving under the influence of marijuana. This law deems a person to be “per se intoxicated” if certain levels of marijuana are detected in the blood or urine. The Nevada Legislature is currently considering a change in the law that would allow for performance-based testing to take place instead, a move that many believe will more accurately portray impairment.The Subcommittee on the Medical use of Marijuana, which is part of the Advisory Commission of the Administration of Justice has voted 9-3 in favor of drafting such a law, which would be based on a similar statute in California. The effects-based approach has already been adopted by a total of 33 states.
The reason for the proposed change is the fact that THC, a primary chemical component of marijuana, does not operate in the same way as alcohol. People also process THC in different ways, and may develop a tolerance to it over time. THC remains in the body much longer, making it possible for false positive results to be obtained from blood or urine tests.
Supporters of the legislation claim it prevents people who are medical cannabis users from being unfairly targeted. This is because medical cannabis users could have high levels of THC in their systems, yet be fully functional. Even so, the bill is expected to face significant opposition from prosecutors and those in the law enforcement community when it is finally heard during the regular 2015 session.