Despite medical marijuana being legal in many states now, there are still plenty of issues that need to be ironed out. Arizona is just one state that is taking a stand against the consumption of marijuana and driving. Driving under the influence of marijuana, regardless if you have a medical marijuana card or not, will get you arrested for a DUI in the state.
A recent case in Arizona is spurring the debate about whether or not it is ok to operate a motor vehicle after consuming medical marijuana. A man was arrested in 2011 by police in Mesa, Arizona. After submitting to a blood test it was found that he had active marijuana metabolites in his system. He was then arrested for a DUI. The driver’s lawyer argued that it is unfair to charge his client with a DUI just because of the presence of marijuana metabolites. He did legally possess a medical marijuana card, which allowed him to consume the drug for medical reasons. Due to his prescription, his lawyer claimed that punishing his client for having marijuana in his system is not right, it should depend on if he was impaired or not. It is unclear if the driver was impaired when he was arrested back in 2011, but it is clear that the courts are adamant on preventing anyone who is under the influence of marijuana from getting behind the wheel of a car.
Driving while under the influence of any drug is illegal and highly dangerous. The Arizona judicial system set an example recently with this ruling. There will be no loophole when it comes to the safety of drivers and pedestrians in the state of Arizona. However, the attorney has already stated that he is likely to take the issue to the Supreme Court, claiming that if this ruling stands it essentially means that anyone who consumes medical marijuana cannot drive a vehicle. Despite this drastic measure, the courts are upholding the ruling.