DENVER — The Senate, which had spent much of the legislative session blocking legislation aimed at imposing a marijuana bloodstream limit for Driving Under the Influence of Drugs, quickly approved that proposal Tuesday morning on a bipartisan vote.
House Bill 1325 is on its way to Gov. John Hickenlooper after passing out of the Senate on a 23-12 vote.
The legislation carbon copy of the DUID bill that died in the Senate earlier this year, was just introduced last week. It passed the full House Monday morning.
It’s cleared the Senate Finance Committee Monday afternoon on a 3-2 vote, setting the stage for a debate on the Senate floor.
“We’ve seen a huge increase in fatalities,” said Sen. Steve King, R-Grand Junction, H.B. 1325’s sponsor.
Maybe because lawmakers have debated this bill for a few years in a row, never mind a few times already this session, the debate was relatively short.
Sen. Pat Steadman, D-Denver, tried and failed to amend the legislation to exempt medical marijuana patients from the DUID standard.
Last week, after the Senate killed the identical DUID legislation, the provision, which sets a five nano-gram presumptive limit for driving under the influence of marijuana, was added to House Bill 1317, the marijuana omnibus measure that will put in place a regulatory framework to oversee legal pot statewide.
Monday afternoon, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted 6-1 to strip that provision from the omnibus bill.
“This is a regulatory bill, not a criminal justice bill,” argued Sen. Ted Harvey, R-Highlands Ranch, noting that he’ll support the DUID proposal as a separate bill.
The sponsor of H.B. 1317, Sen. Cheri Jahn, will not.
“I just don’t think we have enough information,” Jahn, D-Wheat Ridge, said. “I’m just not comfortable with it.”