Provisions of Polis-Perlmutter bill to prevent marijuana-impaired driving pass House of Representatives

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Washington, DC, November 5, 2015 | comments

LUCID Act measure calling for research into detection, prevention of impaired driving included in transportation bill

A measure calling for federal research into the most scientifically sound methods for stopping marijuana-impaired driving, originally proposed by Reps. Jared Polis (CO-02) and Ed Perlmutter (CO-07), was included in the comprehensive transportation reauthorization bill that passed the House today.

“No matter what side of the legalization debate you fall on, we all agree on the importance of keeping our roads safe from impaired drivers,” Rep. Polis said. “Unfortunately, we’ve failed to make studying marijuana-impaired driving a priority, and as a result, the science on this issue is badly underdeveloped. The new research this bill calls for is a great first step that will help state lawmakers develop the best strategies possible for preventing impaired drivers from getting behind the wheel of a car.”

“There are now some 213 million Americans who live in the 23 states plus the District of Columbia where some form of marijuana is legal and it’s critical we pursue public safety measures that keep people and communities safe,” Rep. Perlmutter said. “These provisions are a step forward in ensuring local enforcement officials are able to detect and prevent marijuana-impaired driving and keep our roads safe.”

On June 1, 2015, Polis and Perlmutter introduced the Limiting Unsafe Cannabis-Impaired Driving (LUCID) Act, which calls on the Department of Transportation to conduct research on the most effective methods for detecting and preventing marijuana-impaired driving. The bill also calls for states that have legalized recreational or medical marijuana to develop laws prohibiting marijuana-impaired driving. Under the bill, states are encouraged to use the results of the federal research to determine how best to define impairment and how to detect it at the roadside.

The DRIVE Act, the comprehensive transportation bill that passed the House today, directs the Department of Transportation to conduct the research into marijuana-impaired driving that is called for under the LUCID Act, including an investigation of devices that can physiologically measure marijuana impairment, the impacts of poly-drug impairment, and the role of marijuana impairment in motor vehicle accidents.

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