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Is medical marijuana changing DUI laws?

Because medical marijuana is now legal in most states, it is becoming a new concern for lawmakers and law enforcement when it comes to drivers. If you are driving on a Florida roadway after using medical marijuana, can you be charged with a DUI or DWI? This is a question that is bringing about a lot of discussion.

According to USA Today, one of the main concerns is that testing for marijuana in the system is much different than testing for alcohol or even other drugs. Marijuana is notorious for lingering in the system long after it has been used. This means if you are tested, you could test positive even if you took the marijuana yesterday and are no longer under its effects. In addition, law enforcement has no field tests, like the breathalyzer used for drunk drivers, that can be used to see if you are currently impaired by marijuana before you are arrested. Furthermore, law enforcement may not be educated or trained properly to even understand how to read marijuana test results.

It is a concern for many medical users that the build up of the marijuana in their system would mean they could never legally drive, even at times when they were not feeling the effects of the medication. However, it is still important for law enforcement to be able to remove those who are under the influence and whose driving abilities are being affected by the drug from the roads.

It could be a long journey to find a system that is not flawed, but with the growth of the medical marijuana industry, it is something that must happen. This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.


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