Medical marijuana is slowly becoming legalized in various states, including Pennsylvania. This is a controversial move. One of the concerns that people against this change have voiced involves people driving under the influence of marijuana. Even though medical marijuana has been legalized, it is still illegal to drive after or while smoking marijuana. If you have received a DUI due to marijuana, Ciccarelli Law Offices can help you.
Current Marijuana Law in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania still sees medical marijuana as a Schedule 1 controlled substance. So even if it is legal to consume, it is still one of the substances that you cannot consume while behind the wheel. Alcohol-related driving laws follow a set concentration that can be in your system while you are operating a vehicle. However, Pennsylvania law currently states that you cannot have any THC in your system while you are driving.
Pennsylvania has not yet established a method of consistently measuring marijuana influence on the roads. Therefore, reasonable suspicion is often determined by the subjective judgment of the police officer who pulls over an individual. This can lead to inaccuracy, because it is difficult for police officers to determine how influenced a person is simply by looking at them.
People Request an Adjustment
Many people believe that the laws still need to be adjusted. Currently, someone with a medical marijuana prescription could be charged with driving under the influence even if they do not have a very concentrated amount of THC in their system. This poses a serious problem for people with prescriptions for medical marijuana. DUI incidents due to alcohol are down in York County, but drug DUIs are increasing in numbers. Pennsylvania citizens are worried that this may have negative effects on the people who need to use medical marijuana and may lead the police to giving people DUIs who should not be getting them. Because medical marijuana should be equivalent to any other prescription drugs, which you can usually drive while using, in the eyes of many people, the law should change to reflect this reality.
Officials are still trying to find an effective way to measure THC levels in drivers. The Supreme Court ruled that blood tests were invasive and could not conducted unless a search warrant was present or the person volunteered.
In Pennsylvania, police only have two hours after a driver is stopped to get a blood test done. This rarely leaves the police with enough time to obtain a search warrant, so they can get the blood test done without necessitating arrest.
There is also difficulty with breathalyzer testing. Usually the most efficient way to measure alcohol impairment, a breathalyzer is the ideal tool for police with driving under the influence cases. However, this method does not work as well with marijuana. THC breathalyzers are in development but are not yet reliable forms of testing for police in the field.
Marijuana DUI Attorney
Though the laws will likely shift soon, you can still get pulled over and charged for driving under the influence of marijuana, regardless of your level of impairment. You are still at risk if you have a prescription from a doctor. These cases can be complicated. The lack of physical evidence can create a dangerous gray area that the court has to navigate. Ciccarelli Law Offices has extensive experience with DUI defense. We know how to fight these accusations, putting us one step ahead. With our team of Chester County DUI attorneys behind you, you will have a determined and knowledgeable group that will do all they can to win your case. Reach out to us today for a free consultation.