Governor Brian Sandoval has signed legislation, Assembly Bill 135, amending the state’s traffic safety law so that it is no longer a per se offense for a driver to operate a motor vehicle with trace levels of carboxy-THC in his or her urine. Carboxy-THC is a non-psychoactive metabolite of THC that may be present in urine for weeks or months after past cannabis use.
The new law takes effect on July 1, 2017. It keeps in place per se thresholds for the presence of both THC (at levels of 2ng/ml or above) and 11-hydroxy-THC (at levels of 5ng/ml or above) in blood. According to the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “It is inadvisable to try and predict effects based on blood THC concentrations alone.” NORML opposes the imposition of such thresholds.
In 2014, the Arizona Supreme Court struck down legislation classifying the presence of carboxy-THC in blood or urine as a per se traffic safety violation, finding that the imposition of such an arbitrary standard “leads to absurd results.”