New Cannabis Initiative Offers Solutions for Drug Testing, DUIs

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A new marijuana legalization initiative, pending review by California’s Attorney General, is seeking access to the 2014 ballot. The California Cannabis Hemp Initiative of 2014 hopes to be the green light marijuana activists have been searching for in the Golden State.

The CCHI aims to legalize all forms of cannabis hemp products, specifically stating those that are categorized as industrial, medicinal, nutritional, and euphoric products. Industrially, this can include fuel, paper, clothing, and plastics.

Should we reconsider our medical marijuana policy?

Medicinally, it can be used for treatments corresponding to serious medical conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, glaucoma, and multiple sclerosis. The euphoric portion of legalization addresses the legality of use for recreational purposes by people over 21 years of age.

Voters and proponents, however, may be skeptical since past cannabis initiatives have been rejected in California.

The 2012 election saw five cannabis initiatives all fighting for a spot on the ballot and, consequently, none made it. The array of initiatives caused fragmentation within the legalization movement that made it difficult to acquire funding.

“We’re all chasing the same dollars,” said Steve Collett of the Regulate Marijuana Like Wine initiative .

If similarly competing initiatives arise, the California Cannabis Hemp Initiative of 2014 could meet the same fate as the California Cannabis Hemp Initiative of 2012. The 2012 initiative was submitted by the same sponsors — Michael Jolson, and Berton Duzy. It did not receive the signatures needed to appear on the ballot.

Proposition 19 — the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010 — did make the ballot, but failed with 53.5 percent of the vote opposing it. The major concern cited by the California Police Chief’s Association was that Prop. 19 did not include a definition of driving under the influence. The proposition could have created situations where a person can drive, “even if a blood test shows they have marijuana in their system”.

The California Chamber of Commerce worried about the restrictions for employer’s current drug testing abilities. Their complaints stated that they would not possess the power to take action until after an accident had occurred.

The CCHI’s language on the issues of the drug testing covers what Prop. 19 did not:

“No person shall be required to submit to testing for inactive and/or inert residual cannabis metabolites as a condition of any right or privilege including employment or insurance, nor may the presence of such metabolites be considered in determining employment, other impairment, or intoxication. Testing for active (not metabolized) cannabis may be used and considered in determining employment, impairment, or intoxication.”

As drug testing currently stands, a citizen can be denied from a job, or considered worthy of a DUI, for testing positive for marijuana metabolites. Marijuana advocates cite the problem with this being that marijuana metabolites can last up to 6 weeks, even though the effects of the drug only last for a few hours.

In response to police concerns about driving impaired, the CCHI calls for lawmakers to treat marijuana similar to alcohol:

“Determine an acceptable and uniform standard of impairment based on scientifically acceptable performance testing to restrict persons impaired by cannabis hemp euphoric products from operating a motor vehicle or heavy machinery, or otherwise engaging in conduct that may affect public safety.”

These stipulations may not stifle opposition, but they do provide more specific aims that should address oppositional concerns without sacrificing their goal to improve legal treatment of marijuana users.

The California Cannabis Hemp Initiative of 2014 has a long road just to get on the ballot, but it provides drug testing details that failed attempts missed. Marijuana legalization now has public opinion, medical opinion, and legal precedent on its side, something previous California marijuana initiatives did not.

The Independent Voter Network is dedicated to providing political analysis, unfiltered news, and rational commentary in an effort to elevate the level of our public discourse.


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  1. im4cchi2014 divide and conquer, the deep pockets will come out swinging. Ego and greed will cause this to fail again and we will be left behind. Just pick ONE plan and put everything behind it, check your ego at the door if your name isn't on the marquee and get this deal done. I personally am behind CCHI2014 just cause they were first and it make sense.
  2. Yanaerrl Are you a marijuana smoker and still suggesting people cannot perform their job correctly after, perhaps, medicating in the morning? If so I would like to know what shit YOU have cause I want some
  3. toofastm3 @George Gribbin
  4. Progressive Party of California – Bullmoose Legalization is essential to reduce prison crowding, create new tax revenues, weaken cartels, and to regulate an intoxicating substance. The upsides FAR exceed any downsides.
  5. Progressive Party of California – Bullmoose Legalization is essential to reduce prison crowding, create new tax revenues, weaken cartels, and to regulate an intoxicating substance. The upsides FAR exceed any downsides.
  6. William Parks George Gribbin: Drug tests that test for THC metabolites aren't like breathalyzer tests. They don't determine whether a person was intoxicated at the time of the test; they only determine whether that person has consumed marijuana in the last few weeks.
  7. Merrijo Cavanaugh dont use it duh
  8. Merrijo Cavanaugh dont use it duh
  9. Bob Castle prove once more that california is a state full of bevis and buttheads. that should be on their license plate. picture of bevis and butthead in the back ground.
  10. Bob Castle prove once more that california is a state full of bevis and buttheads. that should be on their license plate. picture of bevis and butthead in the back ground.
19 comments
im4cchi2014
im4cchi2014

divide and conquer, the deep pockets will come out swinging. Ego and greed will cause this to fail again and we will be left behind. Just pick ONE plan and put everything behind it, check your ego at the door if your name isn't on the marquee and get this deal done. I personally am behind CCHI2014 just cause they were first and it make sense.

Progressive Party of California - Bullmoose
Progressive Party of California - Bullmoose

Legalization is essential to reduce prison crowding, create new tax revenues, weaken cartels, and to regulate an intoxicating substance. The upsides FAR exceed any downsides.

William Parks
William Parks

George Gribbin: Drug tests that test for THC metabolites aren't like breathalyzer tests. They don't determine whether a person was intoxicated at the time of the test; they only determine whether that person has consumed marijuana in the last few weeks.

Bob Castle
Bob Castle

prove once more that california is a state full of bevis and buttheads. that should be on their license plate. picture of bevis and butthead in the back ground.

Joshua Snyder
Joshua Snyder

there are no legitimate arguments against legalization of Marijuana.

Joe Moore
Joe Moore

I'm for legalization so it can be treated just like alcoholism. Other countries have proven use goes down once abuse is treated as an illness and not a crime. We spend way too much money on both the war on pot and incarceration of people who otherwise did no harm. Re testing I'd say if a pot user can pass a sobriety field test that anyone who's drunk would fail miserably how impaired can they be? It's time to wise up. The only reason for pot being illegal is because of hemp.

George Gribbin
George Gribbin

Are you comfortable with the driver of an 80 ton semi tractor trailer driving under the influence of marijuana? Bus drivers? Police? Fireman? EMS? Nurses? Doctors? Engineers? Architects? Construction workers?

William Martin
William Martin

theres always levels to intoxication. Ive found that with many employers they are overly concern with what a broad spectrum test provides alone . example being tested before receiving medical care or in affect would deny coverage after trama was treated and result in termination of said employee or in rare cases employees are offered treatment through the company but with the stigmatism that they are "former users" and can be subject to more scrutiny for a single offense . i can see the employers side for insurance purposes back in the day ..however with the new affordable heathcare act. we have to pay for it our selves anyways why cant we get a pass on our ugasge of marijuana ? they're making folks pay more for coverage because they smoke ciggerettes or force them to quit altogether with classes or receive treatment for smoking tabacco . the entire work force would benefit from some change . i agree for some jobs a no tolerance level has to be maintained .

Joseph P Campbell
Joseph P Campbell

Drug testing in general should be reserved for athletes. In the job world - your skillset, attendance, and employment history should be all that's needed to ensure a reliable employee -> employer relationship.

Jordan McGrath
Jordan McGrath

Why not? There are worse drugs, with a higher addiction rate, that are prescribed by doctors, making them "acceptable" to society and the person.

Jonathan Harrington
Jonathan Harrington

The only reason I feel someone should be tested is if the job requires operating heavy machinery or something of that nature that endangers others. Otherwise I totally agree with you. Personal recreation should never be a determining factor for employment. If the person in question simply cant do their job because they are high or whatever, then fire them. I have known many people who were more than capable of performing their duties while completely blitzed.

William Parks
William Parks

The idea is that if a state considers THC metabolites as an indicator that you're intoxicated (rather than what they really are- an indicator that you've consumed marijuana sometime in the last few weeks) then every marijuana user would be vulnerable to DUI charges, even if they're driving 100% sober.

William Martin
William Martin

its just the level of metabolites that's currently being used to draft these laws is not acceptable in any case of DUI or employment . daily users would never be legal for anything . there need to be a compromise. 1st for employment , whats the difference if a worker drinks or partakes while he/she is off work . as long as they show up {not drunk or high} and work hard there shouldn't be an issue with a test for a substance that only last for afew hours or in the instance its being used medically for a chronic/ terminal health issue ... 2nd a DUI should be investigated further if it can be proved that in the coarse of operating the vehicle an accident has occurred as a direct result of being under the immediate influence not a test that shows a long history of usage or the perceived usage of said substance. ie; marijuana vs alcohol breath n blood tests .

Steve Cox
Steve Cox

I don't see why DUI would be included here...

Yanaerrl
Yanaerrl

Are you a marijuana smoker and still suggesting people cannot perform their job correctly after, perhaps, medicating in the morning? If so I would like to know what shit YOU have cause I want some

toofastm3
toofastm3

@George Gribbin If they dont already show up drunk or on pain meds, what makes you think they will show up under the influence of cannabis? Horrible assumption, and you are not even from CA correct?