Are you wondering how Arizona marijuana law and federal marijuana laws might affect your marijuana DUI case? Unfortunately, there’s a great deal of false and misleading information about this sensitive topic. Being informed is crucial!
If You’ve Been Accused of Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana
As of today, 28 states and the District of Columbia allow patients to access medical marijuana (MMJ) with approval from a physician. The vast majority of patients experience chronic pain, seizures or other serious ailments.
MMJ access, while positive, entails a big risk for patients: Marijuana DUI accusations.
According to the Arizona Supreme Court, a current and valid medical marijuana card can be used as a defense if you are brought to trial on suspicion of impaired driving. However, the mere fact responsible adults using marijuana legally can be accused shows the law has a long way to go!
The Biggest Problem When Defending Yourself in an “MMJ DUI” Situation
Everyone has a basic idea of how a DUI case involving alcohol works. The level of alcohol that leads to driving impairment has been firmly established in the law. Arresting officers have all the tools necessary to test a driver and determine his or her impairment level almost instantly.
This is not the case when it comes to marijuana – not by a long shot!
According to the November 2015 decision by the Arizona Supreme Court, the accused person must prove, “by a preponderance of the evidence,” that marijuana in his or her system was at a level that no longer causes impairment.
The problem? The court itself recognizes there is no “commonly accepted threshold” for making this judgment.
Your First Step: Contact an Attorney Who Understands Marijuana Law
Since THC can be detected in the system long after the last time a cannabis product is used, a user may be accused with virtually any bodily concentration of THC. Likewise, it is important to ensure that your medical marijuana card does not expire – and to renew it with plenty of time to spare – as the affirmative defense established in this ruling relies on having a card.
It’s important to know your rights and invoke them when dealing with the authorities. However, getting a marijuana-related DUI charge dismissed remains virtually impossible in Arizona. An expert attorney is your best ally in defending your rights.