The Marijuana-DUI Controversy

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Arizona’s Supreme Court will determine if people with medical marijuana cards can be prosecuted for driving while having traces of marijuana in their bloodstream. The high court heard an appeal in October from two people who were convicted in Mesa of driving under the influence because they had traces of marijuana’s active ingredient – tetrahydrocannabinol or “THC” – in their bloodstreams. One state law forbids drug-related prosecutions when a suspect has a prescription for the drugs, but an Arizona Court of Appeals has said that law does not apply to marijuana-DUI prosecutions because under Arizona’s 2010 Medical Marijuana Act, doctors give medical marijuana “certifications” rather than “prescriptions.”

Regardless of how the state’s high court rules, if you are charged with driving under the influence in Arizona – whether it’s the influence of alcohol, pot, or any other legal or illegal substance – take your case immediately to an experienced Phoenix DUI defense lawyer. Attorneys for the defendants arrested in Mesa say that medical marijuana card holders are being forced to choose between their medicine and their driver’s licenses. Unlike alcohol, which immediately begins to be removed out of the bloodstream, THC molecules can remain in the blood for days – long after any effect of intoxication has worn off. That means that most persons using medical marijuana are have some amount of THC in their systems virtually all the time. Observers across the nation are paying attention to how Arizona’s Supreme Court resolves the issue.

You’ve heard it a million times – don’t drink and drive. Now, it’s don’t drink or smoke pot and drive. Still, if you make a mistake and you are accused of DUI in the Phoenix area or anywhere in the state – or if you were wrongly arrested for DUI and you’re innocent – make the call at once to get the aggressive defense representation you are very much going to need, and contact an experienced Phoenix DUI defense lawyer promptly.

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