Can I still get a DUI for medical marijuana?
You can absolutely, 100%, still get a DUI for operating a motor vehicle under the influence of medical marijuana, even if you have a medical prescription. According to Orlando, Florida-based News 6 traffic safety expert Trooper Steve Montiero, you can still get a DUI if your normal faculties are impaired by anything that affects your operation of a motor vehicle.
While there are laws pertaining to transportation and medication, Trooper Steve notes that it is absolutely against the law to operate a motor vehicle under the influence of marijuana, which remains prohibited at the federal level. In fact, DUI laws have not changed whatsoever. For example, driving under the influence of marijuana is a third-tier DUI in Pennsylvania – the highest possible charge for a DUI. Because cannabis remains a Schedule I substance, the GOP-controlled legislature in the state refuses to be more lenient on the substance.
It shouldn’t be surprising that driving under the influence of any substance remains illegal, and the crackdowns are only going to get worse. Since the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana in states across the country, cannabis use has gone up. Police are aware that more people are driving under the influence, and are finding new ways to crack down.
One way is a new breathalyzer test that can detect marijuana use after a couple of hours. While many cannabis users may be fearful of the inaccuracy of this test, it’s actually a relief that law enforcement is taking into consideration that THC remains in the system longer than the user remains impaired. The traditional route of detecting THC in a driver’s system is taking the suspect to the hospital and drawing blood. Marijuana use from a month ago could be detected in a blood test.
Laws surrounding cannabis need to be updated both federally and locally, especially in states where cannabis use is legal. Marijuana, in no way, impairs drivers more than alcohol does, and alcohol-related traffic accidents far exceed those caused by cannabis. Driving under the influence will always be against the law because of the potential harm you could cause another unsuspecting driver.