It did not take long for a group of former cops, prosecutors and judges to voice their opinion of a proposed measure that seeks to create a zero tolerance type policy for driving under the influence charges involving pot. This blog discussed the new proposal last week, and members of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition have written the assemblywoman who introduced the bill, urging that she immediately withdraw the measure.

Ten retired police officers, deputies, prosecutors, judges and other criminal justice professionals signed the letter calling for withdrawal of the DUI drug-related bill, saying that the draconian measure would criminalize driving by any California medical marijuana patient, even if the patient was not impaired at any time near the time of the arrest.

The criminal justice veterans acknowledge that California law already prohibits driving under the influence of drugs, based upon evidence that the pot, prescription medications or other drugs have caused impairment of the driver. The group says that the current flawed California DUI bill prohibiting pot-based driving without the need to show impairment would make driving illegal for up to 30 days after a medical marijuana patient lawfully smokes pot.

A former LA deputy chief of police says the bill has "no basis in science." He goes on to say that, "Enacting this legislation would not only be disastrous for our state's legal medical marijuana patients, but would impede public safety for all Californians by distracting police from catching actually dangerous drivers."

The criminal justice veterans say that an unimpaired driver could be convicted of DUI, including unimpaired medical marijuana patients. "And if it happens to the same patient on three occasions, they will face a mandatory ten-year prison sentence, all while still being innocent," the letter states.

The bill was introduced February 24 and referred to the Assembly Committee on Public Safety. The letter from the criminal justice professionals urging that the bill be withdrawn was sent March 27 to the assemblywoman who introduced the bill.

Source: Salem News, "Cops And Judges Ask California Legislator to Withdraw Marijuana DUI Bill," Mar. 27, 2012