PA Lawmakers Attempt to Protect Unimpaired Medical Marijuana Users against DUI – Police Pushback

Recently, state lawmakers introduced bills to address the problem of medical marijuana users getting charged with DUI when they are not even impaired.

THC can stay in a person’s system for weeks after using cannabis.  So a driver who is completely unimpaired would fail a blood test and could be charged with DUI.  This is a problem statewide and even prosecutors are asking lawmakers to do something about this.

House Session 11-15-21

Rep. Mike Carroll (D), co-chair of the House Transportation Committee, spoke about the DUI protections issue on the floor on Monday before withdrawing the amendment. He said “we simply cannot have people using medical marijuana charged and convicted of a DUI when they’re not impaired.”

“It’s patently unfair and currently happening,” Carroll said. “District attorneys across the state have reached out to me and asked that something be done.”

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So we have nonviolent, unimpaired, citizens who are legally allowed to use cannabis who are being arrested and prosecuted for DUI.  Certainly, all stakeholders would want to correct this, right?

Not the police.

During a floor session in the House on Monday, Rep. Chris Rabb (D) sought to attach the language of the legislation to a broader vehicle-related bill as an amendment.

But the amendment was later withdrawn from consideration after the Republican co-prime sponsor, Rep. Todd Polinchock (R), pulled his name from the standalone bill, which Rabb said was “due to concerns expressed to him” by the Pennsylvania State Troopers Association.

Keep in mind, drug related DUIs are charged at the highest tier which results in mandatory jail time and a 12 month license suspension.

Shouldn’t law enforcement be about protecting citizens and their rights? Do we really want to arrest and charge people just because they are following their prescribed medical treatment?


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PA DUI attorney Justin J. McShane is the President/CEO of The McShane Firm, LLC - Pennsylvania's top criminal law and DUI law firm. He is the highest rated DUI attorney in PA as rated by Justin McShane is a double Board certified attorney. He is the first and so far the only Pennsylvania attorney to achieve American Bar Association recognized board certification in DUI defense from the National College for DUI Defense, Inc. He is also a Board Certified Criminal Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, a Pennsylvania Supreme Court Approved Agency.