WEST PALM BEACH – A state lawmaker from the Lake Worth area, has filed a bill named for a Wellington teenager who lost her life in a tragic crash.
The legislation, filed by State Representative David Kerner, a Democrat, would set a blood test standard for marijuana in prosecutions involving fatalities and property damage.
“Everybody that met her, loved her; she was a gift, said Steven Turner, talking about his granddaughter, 16-year old Naomi Pomerance.
“A beautiful young lady, whose life was cut short,” said Turner. “And everybody misses her.”
In March of this year, Pomerance was killed as she rode on the back of a scooter, at the intersection of Military Trail and Gun Club Road, near West Palm Beach.
Police say the driver of the scooter, Tyler Cohen, was high on marijuana, and ran a red light.
Cohen had two previous marijuana arrests.
In Florida, like most states, while it’s against the law to drive or operate a boat under the influence of marijuana, there’s no numerical standard, such as the .08 blood-alcohol level.
“It makes it really, really difficult, from a legal standpoint, to convict somebody of DUI manslaughter if marijuana is involved,” explained Rep. Kerner. His just filed bill would set a blood standard for marijuana.
“Juries are really confused when it comes to… whether there was impairment involved or not,” said Kerner. “So we really need to have a hard standard of impairment, and we can do that through technology.”
“We look at it as a way, that out of this tragedy, something good comes, and that Naomi’s name will live forever,” said Mr. Turner, the grandfather.
Rep. Kerner says while he supports medical use of marijuana, it’s more important than ever to protect innocent victims.
To view H.B. 161 in full: CLICK HERE.