Marijuana Hysteria And Legalization In The States
You can’t drive high in any state in the U.S., but there are no real standards when it comes to determining if someone is “too high”. While blood tests and other tests do exist to determine the extent of inebriation, the scientific community has no consensus on how much is “too much”.
In states where marijuana is illegal, this makes it quite easy for the prosecution because any amount of marijuana in your system is evidence of intoxication. However, marijuana lasts in your system for over a month, depending on your frequency of use, and evidence of marijuana in your system is never going to be evidence that you were intoxicated while driving.
In states where marijuana is legal, this has created a problem for law enforcement. Defense attorneys have ample scientific arguments to cast doubt on the state’s case. Officers in these incidents often need to provide evidence of poor driving alongside blood samples to prove their case. In this article, we’ll take a look at how these prosecutions work.
Marijuana prosecutions in legal states
Evidence of inebriation plus evidence of a failure to control your vehicle is often required in marijuana DUIs. In cases where a driver is pulled over for a busted tail light or some other reason, the police may presume the driver is intoxicated, order a blood test, find that there is enough reason to move forward with the prosecution, only to find that the science behind their prosecution isn’t as sturdy as it seems.
When it comes to alcohol, we don’t have this problem. Scientists all generally agree that .08 is a decent threshold for determining inebriation. In these cases, the prosecution does not need to prove anything beyond the .08 blood test to prove DUI. The defendant has only one defense: To dispute the chemical testing involved. In most cases, that will be harder to do than not. No one is going to believe that some cop is going to risk his job just so he can pin a misdemeanor on a random member of the public. Otherwise, you’re alleging incompetence or a failure to follow the rules related to acquiring and testing the sample. So, the defense becomes: The authorities are either stupid or evil.
With marijuana, there is no automatic threshold to determine if you are intoxicated. The science behind the testing has been blackholed by years of criminalization. That means the science is still catching up with the law. So prosecutors cannot show the court a number and say, “This guy was breaking the law.”
What do they do instead? Well, they prove intoxication with the blood test and they prove that you failed to control your car the same way a sober person did. Often, marijuana DUIs involve allegations that the defendant failed to stay in their lane, was driving erratically, caused an accident, or otherwise provided proof that they were unfit to operate their vehicle. In other words, they prove their case by analyzing the driver’s conduct.
Talk to an Orlando, FL DUI Attorney Today
FL DUI Group handles cases involving marijuana and drug offense DUIs in Orlando, FL. Call our Florida DUI defense lawyers today to schedule an appointment and we can begin preparing your defense immediately.