Wednesday, June 12, 2013

CDPHE Official Featured in AG Report Chief Witness for New Per Se THC Standards for DUI

It is important to note that one of the chief witnesses supporting the new per se THC standards for DUI-MJ cases is the same Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment supervisor severely criticized in the recently-released Attorney General report which revealed serious problems with the CDPHE lab and its testing of blood samples in criminal cases. 

Despite much evidence to the contrary, former CDPHE lab supervisor Cindy Burbach has testified as an expert favoring legislation that establishes 5 ng/ml of THC as a presumptive level for impairment in DUI cases involving marijuana use.  In fact, the majority of scientific experts believe that a baseline standard for driving impairment caused by THC cannot be established given the wide and varied effects, and degree thereof, of THC on individual persons.  Simply put, while alcohol affects the vast majority of people in a very similar manner and degree, THC, the active chemical in marijuana, does not.

Given the grave questions about Ms. Burbach raised in the recently-release AG report, including her oft-expressed bias for the prosecution in DUI cases, it is our belief that the General Assembly needs to seriously revisit this issue in its next session and review the scientific evidence in light of the revelations about Ms. Burbach and the science behind establishing a baseline standard for THC impairment.

No reasonable person favors or wishes to endorse/protect impaired driving.  But the imposition of medical/physiological legal standards subjecting people to criminal liability that are not supported by scientific fact/study/research are de facto arbitrary and capricious, and thus unconstitutional.

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