Damn it, that lovable Democratic State Senator of ours, Lou Correa, just always HAS to go and do something to piss us off!
NOW, with his eye on the Attorney General’s race for 2018 and apparently hungry for law-enforcement and prison-guard union support, he’s re-introduced a bill that failed last year, which would criminalize you if you drove with any detectable marijuana in your system.
From the Sacramento Bee’s Capitol Alert:
Prosecutors would have an easier time convicting people in California for driving under the influence of drugs if a bill Sen. Lou Correa has introduced becomes law.
Senate Bill 289 makes it a crime for anyone to drive if their system contains any detectable amount of drugs classified by the government as Schedule I, II, III or IV. That includes marijuana, amphetamines, steroids, tranquilizers and other drugs – but not drugs classified as Schedule V, like Tylenol with codeine, according to information from Correa’s office.
“We want to send a clear message that any level of being drugged is dangerous when driving, so the level should be zero,” Correa, D-Santa Ana, said during a Capitol press conference this morning introducing the bill.
“This is about keeping our streets safe about keeping our families safe. It took decades to pound into people that you should not drink and drive, that it is dangerous to drink and drive. Then we started talking about texting and talking on the phone and driving. And today, this is about being drugged and driving.”
The bill makes an exception for people who have prescriptions, including prescriptions for medical marijuana. Still, medical marijuana advocates came to Correa’s press conference to oppose the bill. They said the law should test for impairment, rather than the presence of drugs in the bloodstream.
“We don’t want to see drugged driving either, but we don’t want to see every patient in the state targeted,” said Lanette Davies, of Crusaders for Patients Rights.
SB 289 is a second attempt for Correa, who introduced a similar bill last year. SB 50 died in the Assembly Public Safety Committee. Correa has opened a campaign committee to raise money for a 2018 run for Attorney General.
Now, I think probably most of us grownups, whether we enjoy the weed are not, are perfectly aware that traces of marijuana (or “cannabinoids”) stay within your system for about thirty days. They’re not making you IMPARIED though! And – where’s the logic? It’s okay to drive with a drug in your system that impairs you if you have a PRESCRIPTION for it … but not if you decided to toke a joint with friends last week?
CSUF Professor Jonathan Taylor clarifies something important for you medical mj users:
“They won’t be considering cannabis as a valid prescription. what this means is you could take prescription valium or oxycodone or ambien even and drive legally but if you have any cannabinoids in your system you would be in violation of the law. And they do tend to stick around in the system for as long as 30 days is my understanding.”
This just doesn’t work for me, does it for you? An Attorney General for California, calling himself a Democrat, who wants to:
- Give the government even more opportunity to poke its nose into our private lives, and
- Make more of us criminals, and keep adding to our prison-industrial complex and overburdened court systems.
Lou’s not answering my calls today, but I’ll just say he’s on the WRONG side of history in multiple ways here. Recreational use of marijuana WILL be legal soon in California as it is in other states; it is more and more widely accepted. We have to CUT DOWN on the number of Californians we criminalize and incarcerate, not JACK IT UP. And law enforcement needs a way to determine if pot or other drug use is currently IMPAIRING a driver – not if they PARTOOK in the past month.
Bad, bad Lou. Give the guy a call: 916-651-4034; 714-558-4400. Or you might catch up with him at the LULAC event tonight, 6:30-9 at the Orange County LULAC Foundation Center, 11277 Garden Grove Blvd. Ste 101-A Garden Grove .
By the way that big bald black guy to Lou’s right in the pic above? That’s a real clownish character, a self-anointed “Bishop” from up in Sacramento, name of Ron Allen. We had him on our Orange Juice radio show back in ‘010 to rant the anti-pot rant against our libertarian hosts. The Daily Show had him on not long ago as well (see below) ; Lou’s scraping the barrel for allies on this…