Now that a lot of states are relaxing marijuana laws, there is growing concern over individuals driving under the influence of marijuana.
Our marijuana defense lawyers in Los Angeles have seen the new legalization create more uncertainty, for citizens as well as law enforcement.
One of the biggest concerns in states like California and Colorado is that the lines of what constitutes impairment are blurred and still being developed.
For example, a man smokes marijuana or takes a dose of medical marijuana and gets in his car. He has a tail light out on his vehicle and is pulled over. During the traffic stop the officer may determine that the individual has been smoking marijuana.
If the driver informs the officer that he uses legal medicinal marijuana then the officer has to determine whether the driver is currently impaired. Here is the problem; THC levels can remain in the bloodstream for days or even weeks following the last use of marijuana products.
What complicates matters even more is that the legal limit of THC in the bloodstream is unclear. Researchers have estimated the point of impairment to be about five-nanograms per millimeter of blood, which is why many states have set the THC legal limit at five-nanograms.
However, there is a great deal of concern over the fact that there is no concrete way to determine impairment like there is with other substances, such as alcohol.
The result is frustrated and unsure law enforcement officers, and paranoid legal marijuana users. This dynamic creates problems on many levels.
For example, states that border California and Colorado where marijuana use is legal, have strict laws in place regarding the use or possession of the products, or being impaired.
Due to the wild discrepancies between state laws, a Colorado resident who takes medical marijuana and then travels to Utah could face criminal charges for using or possessing marijuana in the state of Utah.
With the laws being murky, and the continuing debate over the inconsistencies of the issue, marijuana users should be cautious and aware of how marijuana laws may affect them in a given location.
When in doubt you should err on the side of caution, know your legal rights, and always put safety first.
The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 714-937-2050.
More Blog Entries:
Marijuana DUI an Increasing Threat Amid Legalization Efforts, January 1, 2014, Los Angeles Marijuana Lawyer Blog
Dispensaries Face Obstacles to Serve Young Medical Marijuana Patients, February 17, 2014, Los Angeles Marijuana Lawyer Blog