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Alex Newhouse
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Mar 7, 2012 Alex Newhouse commented on The Facts on I-502.

@ 9, 25, and 31

About RCW 46.61.503 and how I-502 amends it.

If you are not impaired, under 21 years old, and have less than 5ng in your system while driving, then you cannot be charged with DUI under I-502. You can be charged with being a minor operating a motor vehicle with THC in your system. This charge is a misdemeanor that does not count as a prior offense for subsequent DUI's and it is often times resolved today without a conviction. 

So, in other words, the 0 ng for under 21 rule is essentially the exact same tolerance for young people that we currently have for alcohol, except alcohol has a .02 limit due to all the products out there containing alcohol that kids can use. This is the tolerance in I-502 that opponents claim doesn't exist.

I-502's amendment of 46.61.503 RCW is a very good thing. Consider for a moment why car insurance rates are higher for young people, and this is something that has been extensively researched. There is absolutely no good reason to throw THC into the mix.

With respect to probable cause.

The distrust some marijuana users have of law enforcement is not something the general public will have sympathy for. Screaming that we can’t have a per se rule because we can’t trust cops to follow the law is not exactly the best way to bring about reform.
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Mar 7, 2012 Alex Newhouse commented on Pot Activists vs. Pot Activists.
Great article, Dominic! But I have to clarify two things for my own peace of mind:

You wrote: “They are also misreading the court rulings, says Yakima attorney Newhouse. As it stands, Washington State effectively has a zero-tolerance policy for any THC in the blood. As Newhouse explains it, having represented 5 to 10 marijuana DUI cases per year, any THC in the blood is typically used by a judge or jury as sufficient evidence for a conviction.”

Actually, any active THC in the blood PLUS the testimony of a professional witness such as an officer usually is enough for a conviction.

You also included the following: “But while the criticism that pot patients and regular pot users will be arrested en masse for DUIs doesn't seem to pan out, critics of I-502 make an excellent point about drivers under 21. I-502 would establish zero tolerance for any THC in drivers under 21. ‘Drivers in this age bracket will be guilty of DUI if even the smallest amount of cannabis is found in their system,’ says the Patients Against I-502 website. In a worst-case scenario, they speculate, ‘a designated driver subjected to secondhand cannabis smoke would be held criminally liable for the activities of others.’”

If a driver under 21 tests positive for under 5ng active THC but shows no signs of impairment, they cannot be charged with DUI. However, they can be charged with a misdemeanor. And the amount of effort it would take to test positive for Active THC from mere exposure to secondhand smoke before driving is quite substantial.
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Feb 28, 2012 Alex Newhouse commented on You Can't Legalize Pot Without Setting Realistic DUI Penalties for Stoned Drivers.
If listening to the concerns of the voters while acknowledging that the science out there is immature at best is "pandering," then I'm proud to pander. However, I honestly believe commonsense is a better word for it.
Feb 27, 2012 Alex Newhouse commented on Sorry, Medical Marijuana Activists, Your Study Doesn't Prove that I-502 Will Nab Sober Drivers for DUIs.
Quote: "[O]ur legislatures could of adopted a per se policy years ago, especially after medical cannabis was first made legal."

Response: Legalizing marijuana for recreational use is a completely different ball game in unexplored territory to most people. And these people happen to also be the voters.

Quote: "I could bring up further studies as well, these were simply a handful of studies that show that this issue is not cut and dry, the science is not there, and we need to rethink instituting such a dangerous limit without reconsidering the consequences."

Response: Please post the other studies. But even if you do, i doubt it will change the fact that the science is immature, or in your words, "not there." Should the concerned public that has evolved within 70+ years of cannabis prohibition be more comfortable with your position or with NAW's, especially since it knows laws can and often do change?
Feb 26, 2012 Alex Newhouse commented on Sorry, Medical Marijuana Activists, Your Study Doesn't Prove that I-502 Will Nab Sober Drivers for DUIs.
Patients against I-502,

I know I'm right. Read the statute and how I-502 amends it. I deal with this stuff on a daily basis.
Feb 25, 2012 Alex Newhouse commented on Sorry, Medical Marijuana Activists, Your Study Doesn't Prove that I-502 Will Nab Sober Drivers for DUIs.
"The specific study I sent you (and due to time constraints I wasn't able to cite more) was one that points out that, without a doubt, that those under 21 will fail the 0 ng test many hours after consuming cannabis, leading to a large amount of innocent DUID's for an age group that our voters have decided can possess cannabis for medical purposes without any stricter DUID limits (stricter isn't even the word for it, arguably unconstitutional by taking away their defense in court is more like it)."

This statement is misleading and false. Read 46.61.503 RCW and how I-502 would amend it. Then look into how this charge is dealt with in the real world without speculation. I cannot believe this scare tactic is still being used.
Jan 4, 2012 Alex Newhouse commented on Stoner Clash.
Mimi, Troy Barber made that statement, by the way.
Jan 4, 2012 Alex Newhouse commented on Stoner Clash.
And for the record, every single sponsor and supporter of I-502 that I have met or personally know, especially Ms. Holcomb, has their heart in this at least as much as I do if not more. In fact, they have sacrificed a great deal to do what they believe is right.

All of us want to do the greatest amount of good possible. I stand with I-502, as do many others.
Jan 4, 2012 Alex Newhouse commented on Stoner Clash.
Mimi, where did I post that and when? Post a link please.
Jan 4, 2012 Alex Newhouse commented on Stoner Clash.
I-502 forces no one to grow or sell marijuana.

The legal ounce limit will survive a federal attack. States have the absolute right to do this, though the Feds can withhold funds as a penalty. This legal limit will take marijuana offenses out of district and municipal courts, along with their draconian mandatory minimum penalties. It will also drastically help those who are on probation or who are being supervised by DOC.

Many legalization advocates who oppose I-502 don’t want a per se rule even though society is generally comfortable with one. They seem to not want it mainly because they don’t trust officers to base arrests on Probable Cause. This distrust will never, in my opinion, convince voters to legalize marijuana for recreational use without safeguards such as a per se rule. Voters will err on the side of safety when it comes to these issues due to decades if misinformation. No one can blame them.

When confronted with the justifications for a per se rule, opponents argue that 5ng isn’t grounded in science. My response to them is as follows: 1) whether you like it or not, science often times does little to sway public opinion; 2) what little science that does exists is new and evolving; and 3) hearts have to change before science can take over and perform miracles. This is the reality for stem cell research now. Cannabis is no different.

I-502 will help change hearts and minds across the country. I support it.
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