Which California Senators You Need to Pressure to Stop the New Sober DUI Bill


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On April 23, the California Senate Public Safety Committee holds a hearing on a bill to send sober drivers to jail — and you can stop it.

Sen. Lou Correa's SB 289 makes it a crime to drive a vehicle up to six weeks after taking physician-recommended medical cannabis, even though cannabis' effects wear off after a few hours. Why? Because SB 289 would "make it unlawful for a person to drive a motor vehicle if his or her blood contains any detectable amount of a drug ... unless the drug was consumed in accordance with a valid prescription issued."

Medical marijuana's broken-down metabolites stay in the human body up to six weeks, and due to federal law, the pain, nausea and multiple sclerosis drug is not available by prescription, rather by doctor's recommendation only. There are thought to be hundreds of thousands of medical marijuana patients in the state.

SB 289: because racial profiling wasnt easy enough
  • SB 289: because racial profiling wasn't easy enough
According to California activists, "Because traces of marijuana can remain in the blood for days or even weeks after last use, the bill would potentially criminalize every driver who uses marijuana, no matter how responsibly. Since medical marijuana is not prescribed but recommended, the bill would jeopardize medical as well as non-medical marijuana users — but not drivers who misuse more dangerous prescription drugs."

Even the the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wouldn't support Correa's unjust bill. NHTSA states, "It is difficult to establish a relationship between a person's THC blood or plasma concentration and performance impairing effects. ... It is inadvisable to try and predict effects based on blood THC concentrations alone."

Furthermore, driving on marijuana is already legal under the FDA's rules for pot pill Marinol, and California traffic fatalities are at their lowest point since the '40s, despite the advent of medical marijuana. And driving under the influence of any drug is already illegal in California.

So why does Correa want to lock up sober drivers? In a statement, he said cops have too hard a time convicting drugged ones: “The prosecution of drug impaired drivers is often difficult and complicated under California Law."

The bill is co-sponsored by the California State Sheriffs’ Association, California Police Chiefs Association, and the California Narcotics Officers Association — three groups who always get paid when Sacramento politicians create crimes.

Here's some key senators on the State Senate Public Safety Committee and a way to contact them:

Chair Loni Hancock — Oakland and Berkeley
Sen. Marty Block — San Diego
Sen. Kevin De Leon — East LA, Alhambra, and San Marino
Sen. Carol Liu — Glendale, South Pasadena, Burbank, Claremont, San Dimas, and Monrovia
Sen. Darrell Steinberg — Sacramento
Sen. Joel Anderson — Murrieta, Temecula, and East San Diego
Sen. Steve Knight — Palmdale, Lancaster, Victorville, and Apple Valley

Tell them California voters have zero tolerance for unjust, unscientific, make-crime bills.