Marijuana While Driving In Michigan – UPDATED
The Michigan Recreational Marijuana Law changes the landscape of marijuana use throughout the State. Even though Marijuana use and possession is legal, it will still be illegal for an individual to drive under the influence of marijuana. However, now marijuana and drunk driving has changed because it will no longer be a zero-tolerance crime if it is in your system. The prosecutor (state or city) will need to prove that you are under the influence of marijuana.
There is no specific limit that is established by Michigan’s marijuana law, and thus driving with marijuana in your system will come down to the specific circumstances of each individual case. Case law, for the time being, will be limited since Michigan only recently established recreational marijuana law in 2018. It is likely that court decisions in the future will be similar to those decided under the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (known as MMMA). The primary caselaw on the MMMA is People v Koon. The Michigan Recreational Marijuana law identifies that individuals under the statute are not allowed to operate a motor vehicle under the influence of marijuana.
As mentioned above, even the protection afforded by the MMMA, as interpreted in Koon, is not absolute. Therefore, individual’s need to understand what it takes in order to be convicted of drunk driving while using marijuana here in Michigan. You can still be charged and convicted, even though it is legal to use and possess marijuana. These types of drunk driving matters will be a case-by-case decision. This means the underlying circumstances of your situation will determine whether you can ultimately be convicted of drunk driving.
Statistically speaking, studies have been continuing to be developed and published on this ideal and issue with marijuana and stoned driving. Fairly recently, the NHTSA pushed its own findings, which were favorable for the defense side. Moreover, Michigan even put a task force together and came to conclusions that there may be no actual correlation between the substance and driving.
Marijuana mixed with driving is interesting when looking at the correlation between marijuana and the driving habits of individuals. When we add in other issues or inferiorities with testing and identifying the correlation between marijuana and an intoxication level creates even more complexities with drunk driving. This brings about even more possible defenses and avenues that an individual has if they are charged because of drunk driving and marijuana, i.e. drunk driving. This brings about a huge necessity to contact, consult and hire counsel whenever you face a charge for drunk driving involving marijuana. If you are interested in reading more on the topic of marijuana intoxication and driving under the influence of marijuana please read “Marijuana And Driving In Michigan: Identifying Intoxication.”
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