The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has mostly concerned itself of late with the IRS scandal, the problematic rollout of the Obamacare website, and the terrorist attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya. But on Thursday, the panel turned its attention to marijuana use by drivers, including pilots, subway train operators, mariners, and school bus drivers.
At the hearing, called "Planes, Trains and Automobiles: Operating While Stoned," members heard testimony about the impact of driving under the influence of marijuana. Rep. John Mica, who once held up a fake joint at another hearing, lambasted the federal government for its "chaotic and inconsistent policies on marijuana."
There's no federal benchmark for THC — the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana — like there is for blood alcohol content, because under federal law any consumption of marijuana is illegal. Some states that have decriminalized medical or recreational marijuana use have implemented their own benchmarks. Colorado, for example, has set a limit of 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood.
Since THC is fat-soluble, it can remain in your system long after its intoxicating effects have worn off. In states such as Illinois, where marijuana is still illegal, having any trace of THC in your system — even if you smoked weed days before getting pulled over — can get you a DUI.