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California marijuana DUI lawyerMedical marijuana has been legal in California for two decades. Last year’s election also brought an approval of recreational cannabis use in California. Unfortunately, there is still a lot of confusion about what it means to drive under the influence of marijuana. Learn more about the laws, and what you can do if you are arrested for driving under the influence of cannabis.

California Still Lacks a Definitive Limit

With alcohol intoxication, the law is straightforward: anyone driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or greater is subject to criminal charges. With cannabis, there is no such limit. Recently, a bill that would impose a 5ng/ml blood level for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) was passed through the Committee on Public Safety. It is now heading to the Committee on Appropriations. Until it passes fully through the system, the law remains confusing and contradictory. There is no limit, and that means one person might be arrested for trace amounts, despite not being intoxicated, but another person might not be.

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Arizona's medical marijuana laws which allow persons to access marijuana for medicinal purposes, does not give these cardholders immunity from prosecution for DUI charges. An Arizona court recently delivered a ruling in a case involving a man who was arrested for DUI after driving a car the car under the influence of pot. The man was a medicinal marijuana cardholder, and although he was found not guilty of driving while impaired, the court did find that he was guilty of driving with pot in his system.

According to the ruling, persons who are using marijuana and have traces of the drug in their system, can be charged with and convicted of DUI. It's an interesting ruling, and one that is bound to be watched in states like California that also have medical marijuana laws in place.

The ruling is also interesting to Los Angeles DUI lawyers because it comes at a time when a number of states are moving to ease restrictions on access to marijuana. Colorado and Washington recently became the first states to allow the sale of marijuana for recreational purposes. As restrictions on marijuana continue to ease, courts continue to deliver conflicting messages, ruling that while access to marijuana is easier, people who have traces of the drug in their system can actually be prosecuted for DUI.

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