Nevada Assembly bill would change DUI-pot law
A bill to change how police and prosecutors determine whether a driver is high on marijuana was introduced in the Nevada Assembly on Friday.
Judiciary Committee Chairman Steve Yeager, D-Las Vegas, said the bill aims to make sure tests for marijuana intoxication are accurate and the correct substance is measured in the blood stream.
There have been numerous challenges raised about the existing law that measures marijuana metabolytes in the blood or urine.
Yeager said he was told by two medical students from Touro University in southern Nevada that, first of all, the urine test for metabolytes is “scientifically unreliable” so AB135 eliminates the urine test allowed in current law.
Second, he said there are different metabolytes and if law enforcement is measuring the wrong one, it doesn’t mean the person is actually stoned.
The bill would require law enforcement test for the substance in the blood that actually indicates a person might be intoxicated.
Yeager said there are still questions about whether metabolytes actually indicate impairment. He said further study and testing may eventually indicate metabolytes should be removed from the law altogether.
“I don’t know if the data is really there,” he said.
The federal government has ritually refused to allow testing of marijuana but Yeager said there’s some data from Europe on the subject.
He said the bill adds law enforcement should test for Delta9-THC, the chemical compound that actually indicates intoxication. The problem with that test is, at this point, it’s costly.
He said those issues will be explored when the bill is heard in the Judiciary committee.
Sen. Tick Segerblom, D-Las Vegas, has said he too is planning to introduce legislation that will clean up the issues surrounding marijuana testing of drivers.
Advocates have pointed out since metabolytes don’t disappear in a few hours or even a day or so after using marijuana, every medical marijuana card holder is technically under the influence all the time under current law.