/ Modified oct 21, 2014 4:44 p.m.

Appeals Court: Medical Marijuana Law Doesn't Give DUI Protection

Man had argued legislation was intended to make authorized users immune from prosecution unless driving impaired.

Story by Alexandra Olgin, KJZZ


The Arizona Court of Appeals has ruled drivers who use medical marijuana can face driving under the influence charges.

A previous court decision said Arizona residents can only be convicted of a DUI if there is an active marijuana metabolite, known as THC, present in the body. As current law stands, it's any amount of THC.

Phoenix attorney Brian Douglas Sloan, who focuses on DUI law, said the problem is that there isn't a threshold amount like there is with alcohol.

“This case has now made it clear that people who are utilizing medical marijuana under the Medical Marijuana Act that simply having the medical marijuana in their system can lead to a conviction while driving," he said.

Sloan said he thinks the ruling will be appealed to the state Supreme Court.

THC can stick around in a person's system for two days.

Colorado, Washington and a few other states have legal limits for the concentration of THC in the blood that constitutes a DUI.

By posting comments, you agree to our
AZPM encourages comments, but comments that contain profanity, unrelated information, threats, libel, defamatory statements, obscenities, pornography or that violate the law are not allowed. Comments that promote commercial products or services are not allowed. Comments in violation of this policy will be removed. Continued posting of comments that violate this policy will result in the commenter being banned from the site.

By submitting your comments, you hereby give AZPM the right to post your comments and potentially use them in any other form of media operated by this institution.
Arizona Public Media broadcast stations are licensed to the Arizona Board of Regents. Arizona Public Media and AZPM are registered trademarks of the Arizona Board of Regents.
The University of Arizona