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Medical Marijuana

By Aline Miranda on February 25, 2015

A medical marijuana prescription does not shield California drivers from arrest for driving under the influence. For purposes of determining whether a driver is impaired, medical marijuana is treated the same as alcohol. According to Commander Chris Tennant of the Pullman, Washington Police Department who is quoted in a February 17, 2015 USA Today article as saying, “If we suspect that they are intoxicated (with marijuana) and driving, then we handle it like we would alcohol where we put you through field sobriety tests.”

Just because you have a doctor’s prescription, does not mean you can drive under the influence of medical marijuana. It’s not different than drinking alcohol or taking other prescription medication which may impair your driving abilities.

However, the level of THC in your bloodstream used to determine impairment is very different than for alcohol, which has a clearly defined standard. California laws do not specify how much THC found in the bloodstream will establish impairment. For someone to be found guilty of driving under the influence of marijuana, there are a variety of factors the prosecutor must prove. Marijuana highs generally peak within a half hour and will dissipate typically within 5 to 8 hours, but THC can linger for days in your body, especially in habitual smokers.

If you or someone you love has been hurt by a someone driving under the influence of marijuana, call to speak to an attorney about your case today.