Marijuana proponents scored a string of victories in 2014. Three states—Maryland, Minnesota, and New York—joined the growing circle of medical marijuana-legal states. Who would’ve thought that one state’s decision to embrace marijuana, initially as medicine, would set off a cascade effect that still persists today? Congratulations, California, for being a trendsetter.
Now, fresh from their recent victory in Oregon, Alaska, and D.C. for the retail sale of weed, pot proponents look to nab more victories. Their next target? California.
They are aiming to ask voters in the nation’s largest state to legalize marijuana for recreational use in 2016, hoping to draw on a more liberal and larger electorate during a presidential election to help them avoid a repeat of their 2010 failed pot measure.
Currently the used and possession of marijuana is legal only for medicinal purposes in the Golden State but not for recreational use. When Californians voted in favor of Proposition 215 in 1996, they voted to legalize medicinal marijuana only. The first state to legalize recreational pot use was Colorado in 2012.
DUI Still a Crime
Remember that a DUI is not just for driving under the influence of alcohol, it also includes drugs. Driving under the influence of marijuana is still illegal, either as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on a variety of factors including whether there is an accident.
However, there are significant difficulties in the prosecutions ability to obtain a conviction for a marijuana DUI. A major problem facing law enforcement is the lack of capability to determine how much marijuana a driver has in his system, let alone knowing if the driver is really impaired. In 2011, for example, an Illinois man heading to work was arrested for DUI after finding traces of pot in his system. A year later, the court dropped the charges after finding out that hypoglycemia was to blame.
Unlike alcohol, there is not agreed upon legal limit. So the prosecution is limited to proving actual impairment. Even if a “weed breathalyzer” was on its way to every police officer in the country (it’s not), as the scientific community says, “correlation doesn’t imply causation.” This is where an experienced defense lawyer is essential. By reviewing and scrutinizing the evidence, a Rancho Cordova criminal defense attorney could prove that you were not impaired by marijuana while driving.
Marijuana is only one of many drugs a skilled Rancho Cordova DUI attorney has experience dealing with. Other medications and drugs can impact your ability to drive and law enforcement will make arrests if they believe you are under the influence of such substances when you are behind the wheel. The legal team at The Chastaine Law Office have decades of experience dealing with such issues and can help you figure out a solid defense for virtually any issue you may encounter.