A heavy price tag could come along with the freedom of using recreational marijuana. In November the residents of Arizona will be asked to vote on whether or not to legalize recreational marijuana use. This has been a hot topic for many Americans across our country for decades and especially recently since many states have legalized the use of recreational marijuana. This legalization could pose problems for people who drive. 

As stated above next month nine states including our state will be voting on the legalization of recreational and or medicinal use of marijuana. We need to look at how the legalization of marijuana could be problematic for a person’s driving record even if they follow the law.

A young woman in Colorado is on the other side of paying enormous bills for a legal defense when she was randomly stopped at a DUI checkpoint. Because she hadn’t been drinking or smoking marijuana that night she felt like she would be on her way in no time. The young woman was a regular cannabis user however, and because the officer involved stated he smelled marijuana in her car and observed the woman’s eyes to be bloodshot, she was required to render a blood sample. The sample revealed that the THC (a derivative of Cannabis) level in the blood was more than 5 times the legal limit.

The laws concerning the criteria for DUI (drug use) are patterned after the laws that test for DUI (alcohol use). While the testing for blood alcohol content has been researched and updated more stringently due to the attention that has always been given to the epidemic of drunk driving and the lives that it claims, the same time and attention has not been given to the testing that determines whether someone is driving under the influence of drugs.

THC is stored in the fat cells and could be present for months after someone uses the drug. That is not the case with alcohol. Alcohol completely leaves the system within hours of use. While some cannabis users are supporting testing that will look at the level of impairment as opposed to the level of the drug in the system, the technology has not caught up with the law.

DUI or Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs is a serious offense that involves criminal charges and legal proceedings. If you are ever charged with DUI it is imperative that you contact an attorney immediately.