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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Landmark State Court Ruling Says THC in Blood is NOT Sufficient Grounds for DUI

OFF THE WIRE
By
Justin Gardner
Phoenix, AZ – A Court of Appeals in Phoenix delivered a ruling on Thursday that could set a precedent as legal systems grapple with the question of driving under the influence of cannabis.
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    “Medical marijuana users cannot be convicted of driving while under the influence of the drug absent proof that they were actually impaired, the state Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.

    In a major setback for prosecutors, the judges pointed out that Arizona, unlike some other states, has no law that spells out that at a certain level of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in the blood a person is presumed to be impaired…

    What that means is every case where prosecutors charge a medical marijuana user with breaking the law requires expert testimony to show that particular individual was impaired at that particular level of THC.”

This is a huge win for citizens and for rationality itself, as it negates the government’s assumption that an arbitrary number means a driver is impaired, which provided grounds for criminal conviction.

Nadir Ishak was pulled over in 2013 after his vehicle drifted out of its lane. Instead of invoking his 5th Amendment right to remain silent, Ishak admitted to smoking cannabis that morning when the cop probed him for some sign of “criminal” behavior. The cop said Ishak had bloodshot eyes and “body tremors and eye tremors” during a field sobriety test.