Drivers who test positive to drugs may not be impaired: Protesters
UP TO 50 people joined a protest against drug driving testing held outside the Lismore office of local MP Thomas George today.
The drug-driving laws needed to be changed because penalties were disproportionate to the crime, according to Nimbin Hemp Embassy president Michael Balderstone.
"People who get caught for possessing 15 grams or less of cannabis can get off with a caution," he said.
But Mr Balderstone said people were losing their licence, and possibly their job, even if they had a trace of marijuana in their system and were not actually impaired in any way.
Traces of marijuana can be found in a person's saliva days after it was consumed.
Mr Balderstone said the law should be changed so that people could only be charged if they exceeded a specified limit of marijuana in their system that was enough to cause driver impairment, just like drink drivers.
"Yes, it is illegal to smoke marijuana, but people should only be charged if they are impaired, not for getting stoned days ago," he said.
The protesters had planned to give Mr George a copy of a book, Chasing the Scream, which is about the failed 'war on drugs', but his office was closed.
They also wanted Mr George to lobby Police Minister Troy Grant to change the law.
"No other country in the world applied a system of zero tolerance to marijuana and driving," Mr Balderstone said.