Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham introduces bill to limit drugged driving


Citing the voter-approved legalization of recreational marijuana use, California Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham is calling for the state to establish guidelines for stoned driving, similar to existing laws regulating drunken driving.

On Friday, Cunningham’s office announced he introduced Assembly Bill 903, which would direct the California Highway Patrol to study and identify options for a legal limit for marijuana-influenced driving.

State law currently limits alcohol impairment in drivers to 0.08 percent of blood-alcohol content, but no established limits exist for marijuana impairment.

“With the recent legalization of recreational marijuana, it is imperative that the state take action on this issue,” Cunningham said in a prepared statement released Friday. “For road safety, we need to see whether the science supports a legal limit for THC (the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana) while driving.”

Five states — including Colorado and Washington, which legalized recreational marijuana use in 2012 — have established legal limits for marijuana impairment, while 13 other states have a “zero tolerance” policy, according to a news release from Cunningham’s office. Colorado, for example, may prosecute drivers who have 5 or more nanograms per milliliter of THC in their blood.

Cunningham, a former San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office prosecutor and a Templeton-based defense attorney, represents the 35th Assembly District for San Luis Obispo County and northern Santa Barbara County.

Matt Fountain: 805-781-7909, @MattFountain1