After proposition 203 passed in 2010, there was the issue of figuring out how to deal with MMJ patients and existing DUI laws. The problem of course is that the active ingredient in marijuana (THC) stays in a persons system for weeks, sometimes months, even if you use the medicine sparingly. This means that a person can fail a urinalysis and not even be impaired at the time of the test.
This is problematic because some MMJ patients were being charged with DUI’s for failing a urinalysis. There was even a a state Court of Appeals in 2013 that gave law enforcement the right to prosecute marijuana users even if there was no evidence of impairment.
This has all changed as of April, 2014 when the state Supreme Court ruled that authorities can’t “prosecute Arizona motorists for driving under the influence of marijuana unless the person is impaired at the time of the stop”.
Via The Huffington Post:
“Authorities can’t prosecute Arizona motorists for driving under the influence of marijuana unless the person is impaired at the time of the stop, the state Supreme Court ruled Tuesday in the latest opinion on an issue that several states have grappled with across the nation.
The ruling overturned a state Court of Appeals decision last year that upheld the right of authorities to prosecute pot smokers for DUI even when there is no evidence of impairment.
The opinion focuses on two chemical compounds in marijuana that show up in blood and urine tests — one that causes impairment and one that doesn’t but stays in a pot user’s system for weeks.
Some prosecutors had warned that anyone in Arizona who used medical marijuana simply shouldn’t drive or they would risk facing DUI charges, a contention that drew the ire of pot advocates who claimed this interpretation of the law criminalized their legal use of the drug after voters approved it in 2010.
Tuesday’s state Supreme Court opinion removed that threat in explaining that while state statute makes it illegal for a driver to be impaired by marijuana, the presence of a non-psychoactive compound does not constitute impairment under the law….” [Continue Reading]
In conclusion, as long as you make sure to never drive for several hours after medicating with marijuana, you shouldn’t have to worry about getting a DUI. With that said, this post is not meant to serve as legal advice. You should always consult a lawyer.