Rarely do Colorado Attorney General John Suthers and I see eye to eye.
He likes to sue the federal government to stop it from mandating health care and bringing down the overall cost, and I like to pay that lower cost. He likes to teach criminal justice at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, and I like to not be in school. He wants medical marijuana to go back into whatever hole it (apparently) crawled out of, and I like to watch people naturally medicate in whatever way makes sense to them.
So it's no real surprise when a red-faced press release showed up in my inbox shouting Suthers' displeasure at the "failure" of the Colorado Senate to pass the ridiculous House Bill 1261, which would have set an arbitrary and capricious limit of 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of a driver's blood.
"Attorney general decries Colorado Senate’s lack of leadership as it fails to pass a widely supported THC driving limit," bellows the headline.
The main contention of our Colorado Springs-based state attorney is that, since so many bipartisan criminal justice groups — including the Colorado Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice, and other law enforcement groups — were behind the bill, then it's ka-razy not to pass it, especially considering all those stoned drivers flooding Colorado's streets with accident-free driving.
“It is dumbfounding that the Colorado Senate could fail to pass a per se marijuana bill,” Suthers blustered. “There are approximately 125,000 Coloradans authorized by state law to use medical marijuana plus countless others who use the drug without state authorization. As the chief law enforcement officer of the state and a former district attorney, I have seen the damage people driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol can inflict. The Senate’s vote yesterday exhibited not only a lack of concern for the safety of Colorado drivers and pedestrians, but also an inability to lead."
Suthers continued with serious thoughts for serious people.
“The fact that some senators were succumbing to pressure from the marijuana industry while others may have been concerned the per-se limit was too high is no excuse for complete inaction on such a critical public safety issue," he says. "This is yet another public policy failure by the General Assembly to enact appropriate marijuana policies in Colorado.”