The simple answer is yes, but there is a lot that goes into proving a
driver is impaired due to the consumption of marijuana.
Cultural acceptance of marijuana is increasing and with it the laws surrounding its use are rapidly changing across the nation. Not long ago it was illegal to possess marijuana in all states let alone use it, and the legal consequences were significant. Starting in the mid 1990’s, several states began to legalize its use for medicinal purposes. In 2012, Colorado legalized the recreational use of marijuana and many states have done the same in the years that followed. As laws trend toward full legalization and the stigma of the drug fades into history, states are taking a closer look at its impact on drivers and the corresponding legalities of driving under the influence of marijuana.
Several studies have shown measurable impacts to drivers under the influence of marijuana. Although they are much less than that of alcohol, the impacts can be significant depending on the potency and amount of cannabis consumed, and the means by which it was ingested. As with alcohol, the rate at which the drug impacts an individual’s body is also dependent on his or her size and metabolism.
Some ways in which marijuana can impact drivers include:
Individuals driving under the influence of marijuana often underestimate their ability to safely drive in contrast to those under the influence of alcohol that tend to overestimate their ability. It is important to note that driving under the influence of alcohol and marijuana simultaneously poses a substantially higher risk than driving under the influence of one or the other. Either way it is dangerous and should be avoided.
Although specific penalties for driving under the influence of marijuana vary from state to state, it is illegal to drive under the influence in all fifty states.
It is important to seek legal counsel if you have been arrested for driving under the influence of marijuana. Since laws vary from state to state, you need to be sure your legal advice comes from Clinton personal injury attorneys who are familiar with the laws of the state in which you were arrested. If you are struggling with substance abuse, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s hotline (1-800-662-4357) right away.