DUI marijuana bill sent to Nevada governor | NevadaAppeal.com

DUI marijuana bill sent to Nevada governor

The Nevada Senate on Thursday gave final approval to legislation changing the rules for testing marijuana intoxication in DUI cases.

Assembly Bill 135 was drafted after two Southern Nevada medical students testified the existing laws don’t actually test for impairment or intoxication. Graham Lambert and Charles Collison of Tuoro University testified that marijuana metabolytes in the blood or urine don’t actually indicate intoxication, just that the person is a regular marijuana user. They urged lawmakers to mandate drivers be tested for the two psychoactive compounds in marijuana — Delta-9-THC and 11-OH-THC.

They also testified urine testing in drug DUI cases should be banned because those urine tests are wildly inaccurate.

Sen. Tick Segerblom, D-Las Vegas, said there was testimony that the urine tests were “meaningless.”

The study by Lambert and Collison was backed up by Dan McDonald of the Washoe Crime Lab who said he has argued for years metabolytes don’t indicate impairment. He was joined by Eric Bauman of the Metro vehicular testing unit who said Southern Nevada experts agree with the bill including outlawing urine testing.

Other supporters of the measure have pointed out since there are several thousand medical marijuana users and will soon be thousands more others legally entitled to use marijuana recreationally, the law needs to be changed so individuals stopped for driving violations are tested for actual impairment.

The Senate approved AB135 20-0 with Sen. Pete Goicoechea, R-Eureka, absent/excused.

The bill now goes to Gov. Brian Sandoval for his signature.