DUID Victim Voices has focused only on drugged driving, leaving the issue of legalizing impairing drugs like marijuana to others. After all, drugged driving is a serious problem regardless of whether or not marijuana is legalized. Legalization just makes it harder for states to deal responsibly with DUID.
However, we do step into the marijuana legalization issue when politicians do or say stupid things, convincing us that they may have been bought by, or at least influenced by the marijuana lobby that continues to deny or distort the truth about drugged driving.
Colorado’s Senator Cory Gardner seems to have forgotten that he was sent to Washington, DC to represent the people of Colorado, not the marijuana industry. We have written to him and left telephone messages with him several times requesting that he reverse his positions on two issues:
- Gardner supports Section 538, the Rohrabacher-Leahey amendment to the Omnibus Appropriations Act (S1662) which prevents the Department of Justice from enforcing federal drug laws.
- Gardner has blocked the Senate consideration of multiple Department of Justice nominees in response to Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ rescission of the Obama-era Cole memorandum that instructed federal attorneys to limit their enforcement of federal drug laws.
One day after lifting his blockade on all but seven nominees, Gardner responded to our pleas, explaining why he will continue to prevent the DOJ from exercising its Constitutional mandate. He argues that states have a right to pass laws that violate federal laws, that President Trump said it was OK to do so, and that Colorado is an experimental laboratory.
We responded to Gardner, pointing out that the Supreme Court has already ruled that Congress has a Constitutional right to criminalize what Colorado has chosen to legalize. Therefore, the state has no right to override federal law and legalize marijuana. We pointed out that President Trump’s opinion doesn’t change that fact. We further challenged Gardner’s reference to Colorado being an experimental “laboratory” since its to legalization neither controls input variables nor measures outcomes as is required in any legitimate experiment.
We were particularly critical of Colorado’s lack of effort to measure and report DUID, which is our principal focus.
Our letter closed with, “You claim that you will keep my thoughts in mind. That’s not what I’m asking for. I’m asking for you to reverse your position in support of an illegal and harmful marijuana industry. Follow the law and the Constitution. Protect the safety of our citizens. Use common sense. You were elected to serve Colorado voters, not the marijuana lobby.”