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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: February 4, 2019 03:33 PM
From: Representative Christopher M. Rabb
To: All House members
Subject: Reforming Cannabis-related DUIs
As Pennsylvania continues to tweak its still nascent medical cannabis program – and is exploring the possibility of legalizing adult use cannabis, it is high time we update our state law to address drivers who have been charged with driving under the influence of cannabis.

In this vein, we should look south to Alabama for some insight on forward-thinking public policy that addresses driving offenses that put the general public, drivers and passengers at great risk.

In Alabama, the law states that “a person shall not drive or be in actual physical control of any vehicle while under the influence of either a controlled substance and/or alcohol to a degree which renders him or her incapable of safely driving”.

Pennsylvania should embrace this standard which would address the root of the problem: drivers who may have cannabis in their systems, but are not actually impaired. Let us also bear in mind that there are roughly 100,000 Pennsylvanians registered to legally use medical cannabis for one or more ailments.

Studies are inconclusive as to the amount of the cannabis that would render one person incapable of driving safely versus another driver. Therefore, an “impaired” standard would require the prosecutor and police officer to prove that the driver was incapable of driving safely.

Please join me in supporting this common sense reform that helps law enforcement better protect public safety on roadways across our commonwealth.

Introduced as HB1480