- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 26, 2016

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The Michigan House moved Tuesday to get a recommendation on setting a legal limit for driving under the influence of marijuana.

Legislation approved 107-1 and sent to the Senate would create a state commission to study and recommend a threshold of THC bodily content that would constitute evidence of impaired driving. THC is the component of marijuana responsible for most of the drug’s effects.

Unlike other Schedule 1 drugs, THC can be detected in the body long after its effects have dissipated.

Michigan’s vehicle law prohibits driving with any detectible amount of a Schedule 1 substance in the body. But its 2008 voter-approved law legalizing marijuana use for medical purposes shields patients from prosecution as long as they are not “under the influence” of marijuana.

The bill’s sponsor, Republican Rep. Peter Lucido of Shelby Township, said there needs to be a DUI limit for THC content like Michigan’s 0.08 blood alcohol limit.

“If somebody has smoked too much marijuana that would impair and/or have an effect on their driving, I don’t want to any residents, including myself, at risk,” he said.

Panel members would include the state police director, a physician, a forensic toxicologist, a medical marijuana patient and two university professors - all with significant experience or involving studying marijuana, substance abuse or impaired driving. Their report would be due by July 2017.

“If you don’t do a study, you’re wasting your time, taxpayers’ resources, because we’re going to continue to argue about a standard in a courtroom when one could first be made that everybody has agreed to - all stakeholders,” Lucido said.

According to a House Fiscal Agency analysis of the legislation, the Governors Highway Safety Association has said there’s no scientific evidence to establish thresholds for drugs like there is for alcohol.

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Online:

House Bill 5024: https://1.usa.gov/1SI4lmy

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