As the article says, this ruling is a defeat for prosecutors trying to charge MMJ patients with DUI.
“People with marijuana in their system can escape drugged-driving charges if they can show they weren’t “high” enough to be impaired, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled this morning.
The justices rejected a claim by two individuals that the fact they have a state-issued card allowing them to ingest the drug automatically means they cannot be charged with driving while impaired. Chief Justice Scott Bales, writing for the unanimous court, said nothing in the 2010 voter-approved law allowing the medical use of marijuana provides such immunity.
But Bales said the presence of marijuana is not proof that someone is actually impaired. And he pointed out the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act itself has a similar requirement.
What today’s ruling does is create what is called an “affirmative defense” for those charged, allowing them to prove to a court “that the concentration of marijuana or its impairing metabolite in their bodies is insufficient to cause impairment.”
Today’s ruling is a defeat for prosecutors.
They argued there is no commonly accepted threshold to determine what amount of marijuana causes impairment. And that, they said, makes it inappropriate to allow those who have used the drug — and still have evidence of it in their bodies — to escape conviction.“