This afternoon Michigan’s Supreme Court made a decision which adds a legal protection for drivers who are medical marijuana patients. In the decision, which was unanimous, the court rules that the state’s medical marijuana statute pre-empts the state’s zero-tolerance provision for THC, which finds someone guilty of driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) for simply having THC in their system, even if it was from days ago.
“While we need not set exact parameters of when a person is ‘under the influence,’ we conclude that it contemplates something more than having any amount of marijuana in one’s system and requires some effect on the person”, stated the court in their 8-page decision paper.
The ruling was based on a qualified patient who was pulled over in 2010 for speeding, and was subsequently charged with a DUID after a blood test indicated that he had THC in his system, even though he hadn’t consumed for hours. The court’s decision overturns an opposite verdict from the Michigan Court of Appeals.
According to Matt Newburg, the patient’s attorney, “What I do know is that prosecutions regarding driving and medical marijuana patients just got a lot harder to prove.”