Lawmaker pushing for marijuana intoxication law

Posted at 7:21 PM, Sep 28, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-28 19:21:25-04

Six months ago to the day, Wellington teenager Naomi Pomerance was riding on a scooter in suburban West Palm Beach driven by 23-year-old Tyler Cohen.

The scooter slammed into another car, killing Pomerance.

In their Greenacres home on Monday, Naomi’s grandparents Steven and Barbara Turner,  reflect on a life full of dreams that will never be realized.

“My granddaughter was just a wonderful person whose life ended too soon,” Mr. Turner says.

With the help of state representative Dave Kerner, they hope to lessen the pain for future families.

The crash report says Cohen had marijuana and other drugs in his system.

The problem, Kerner says, is when cases like this go to trial, there's no standard for marijuana intoxication.

He says it opens up a whole host of questions.

“What is impairment when you're using marijuana and what are juries considering to be impairment under the law,” Kerner says.

His bill, the Naomi Pomerance victim safety act answers that question - 5 nanograms per milliliter of blood.

The bill would allow law enforcement to draw and test blood in any crash that causes major injury or death.

Kerner, who supports medical marijuana and easing up on particular laws related to marijuana, says it comes down to accountability.

“If there's really a critic out there that says marijuana doesn't impair somebody, I would suggest that they look at the hard academic research,” he says.

Naomi's grandparents agree.

“When society knows there are restrictions and limits on what they can do, ultimately it helps them,” Mr. Turner says.

He says it's the best way to honor their life of their granddaughter.

“She, in her death, will be able to provide something that people can live by in their lives."

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