Medical Marijuana Patients Lose Right to Drive?
Under the newest federal guidelines, anyone who has THC in their system can be convicted of impaired driving which has roughly the same penalties as drunk driving–jail and losing one’s driving license. I’ve been hearing about this but haven’t had time to investigate. A reader posted the following as a comment on another post. If anyone has anymore information, please point it out to us.
If you smoked marijuana last week or even last month and you drive a car, you may be sent to prison under new guidelines drafted by the federal government.
The Obama administration released its National Drug Control Strategy guidelines last week. The federal government wants all of the states to adopt its authoritarian and draconian diktat and expand the drug war. From the guidelines:
Encourage States To Adopt Per Se Drug Impairment Laws [ONDCP]. State laws regarding impaired driving are varied, but most State codes do not contain a separate offense for driving under the influence of drugs (DUID). Therefore, few drivers are identified, prosecuted, or convicted for DUID. Law enforcement personnel usually cite individuals with the easier to prove driving while intoxicated (DWI) alcohol charges. Unclear laws provide vague signals both to drivers and to law enforcement, thereby minimizing the possible preventive benefit of DUID statutes. Fifteen states have passed laws clarifying that the presence of any illegal drug in a driver’s body is per se evidence of impaired driving. ONDCP will work to expand the use of this standard to other states and explore other ways to increase the enforcement of existing DUID laws.
Cannabis metabolites can remain detectable in the urine for up to 100 days or longer for a regular cannabis consumer and up to fifteen days for the casual consumer, according to NORML, the marijuana advocacy organization. In other words, even if a pot smoker is conscientious and does not drive while intoxicated, that person can be arrested and convicted for DUID days or weeks after consuming marijuana. It would not matter if you are sober as a teetotaler — if THC molecules are detected with a urine or blood test, you are probably going to prison. You can kiss the right to vote and own a firearm sayonara.
In 2007 there were 14.5 million current users of marijuana in the United States, compared with 14.6 million in 2002, while the number of Americans who have used marijuana increased.
The following states enforce “zero tolerance” draconian DUID laws:
Arizona: Zero tolerance for cannabis metabolites, mandatory 24 hours jail, up to 6 months upon conviction.
Delaware: Zero tolerance for cannabis metabolites.
Georgia: Zero tolerance for cannabis metabolites, mandatory 24 hours jail, up to 12 months upon conviction.
Illinois: Zero tolerance for cannabis metabolites, up to 12 moths upon conviction.
Indiana: Zero tolerance for cannabis metabolites, up to 60 days upon conviction.
Michigan: Zero tolerance for cannabis metabolites, up to 93 days upon conviction, vehicle immobilization for up to 180 days.
Nevada: 15 ng/ml for cannabis metabolites.
Ohio: 15 ng/ml for cannabis metabolites, mandatory 72 hours in jail, up to 6 months upon conviction, 6 month to 3 year license suspension.
Pennsylvania: DUID for cannabis metabolites, amount unclear.
South Dakota: Zero tolerance for cannabis metabolites for persons under the age of 21.
Utah: Zero tolerance for cannabis metabolites, mandatory 48 hours jail, up to 6 months upon conviction.
Obama’s new guidelines will criminalize and add to the system hundreds of thousands of people and add thousands of people to the prison industry slave labor complex. In 2007 an American was arrested on marijuana charges every 36 seconds. Obama will increase this criminalization rate significantly.
DUI checkpoints are on the rise around the country. In California, for instance, the state increased grants in 2009 by 47% for DUI checkpoints, including “roving” DUI patrols. 2010 was predicted to be “the year of the Checkpoint” in California. In California and elsewhere, these unconstitutional checkpoints are a highly profitable business for the state, netting billions of dollars every year.
Behavioral impairment is not the issue. Expanding the criminal class is the issue. Government will never rest until it categorizes most of us as criminals.