A common question that gets asked to DUI Attorney Orange County, Ryan Varice is can someone who has been using marijuana be charged with impairment because a DUI would mean the person is driving impaired, and the studies have shown that marijuana doesn’t cause impairment and lack of focus, in fact studies have shown that marijuana use enhances focus.
While there are studies which show that alcohol causes impairment when driving, but there hasn’t been any evidence to support that marijuana (cannabis) has an effect on impairment. The studies from the Department of Justice tested marijuana on inexperienced drivers who consumed large amounts of marijuana, and not the common amount used recreationally.
There are studies which show the main chemical in marijuana THC does not have an impairing effect on individuals. The studies points out some decision making skills are impaired but only to a small degree, and not enough to cause impairment while operating a motor vehicle.
Further complicating the issue of testing marijuana for impairment is that marijuana can stay in the system for days so what might be showing on the blood tests may not be a recent interaction with marijuana.
It is legal in Canada to use canabis or marijuana. But only for medicinal purposes. Thesemedicinal purposes in which canabis or marijuana is used is for conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, hepatitis, and even arthritis. Canabis or marijuana is a plant that is used to treat conditions that include anxiety, depression, and pain.
In Canada . however, it is not legal to use Canabis for recreational purposes, or even for any other purposes other than for medicinal use.
The possession, cultivation, sale, and use of marijuana or pot in Canada , is not legal in any way. The only exception to this is the legal protection that the law has provided for registered users that use marijuana for medicinal purposes.
There are very few national laws in Canada that can cover the whole impaired driving aspects. That’s why local authorities make their own laws and regulations, but still act within the existing national laws. It’s like the way the United States have an existing DUI law, but the local authorities of each state, can modify it to have punishments or sanctions that can best suit their own areas of responsibility.
In the Criminal Code of Canadian Protocol that also covers the Impaired Driving by Drug Laws, it says that yes, a person can be caught with a DUI violation for smoking too much pot. The DUI laws cover marijuana also, because of its meaning, “Driving Under the Influence,” the “influence” part is not limited to alcohol influence, but also drug and thus, marijuana, influence also.
And according to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, Section 4, if one is found guilty of possession of marijuana of up to 30 grams, the accused may be sentenced to a maximum penalty of six months in prison, or pay a one thousand dollars fine.
Proving that an accused is driving under the influence of alcohol, is relatively easy because of the breathalyzer. However, proving that someone is driving under the influence of marijuana is much more difficult. The prosecution has to prove that delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or “THC” or better known as marijuana (or pot, weed, grass, dope, Mary Jane, or ganja) lingers in your body. Once taken, THC is hard to flush out; the chemical lingers in the body even long after the effects of ingesting the substance has worn off. The lifespan of THC in the system varies, depending on a variety of factors, which include the amount of marijuana one has consumed, the concentration of the THC consumed, and one’s basic, personal tolerance to marijuana.