The Marijuana Doctor at Commerce Medical Group wants to make all of our current and future patients aware that at some point they may need an Arizona criminal defense attorney with regard to their medical marijuana.
In November 2010, voters passed the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act. That Act allows eligible Arizonans to obtain a doctor’s recommendation and ultimately a medical marijuana card. However, there are several important points that current or future cardholders should be aware of.
First, despite Arizona’s law, federal law still prohibits the cultivation, distribution, and possession of marijuana. No exception is made for marijuana used in the course of recommended medical treatment. This is primarily an issue between Arizona and the federal government that will ultimately be hashed out through the Court system, but it is an important point to take note of.
Next, Arizona has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to driving under the influence of marijuana – whether you have used it legally or not. Because marijuana can stay in your system for weeks after use, it is entirely possible that a state-approved medical marijuana user could be charged with a DUI if they test positive as part of a traffic stop, even if they were completely safe to drive.
Other states have begun to address this issue. As a result of Washington State’s recent legalization of marijuana, they changed their DUI law by setting a marijuana blood-test limit, similar to a blood-alcohol level. This change in law means that a person would need to have a certain amount of the drug in their system before they could be charged with a DUI. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, peak THC concentrations are reached at the time of use and generally fall to less than 5 nanograms per milliliter of blood within three hours – which is the same standard in Washington’s law.
However, Arizona has no such law and any amount will result in a DUI charge
If you find yourself facing an Arizona DUI because of medical marijuana use, contact an experienced AZ criminal defense attorney today.