Have you been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) of marijuana? If so, depending on the facts of your particular case, it may be possible to have your charges reduced or even outright dropped. This is because the State’s burden of proving you were actually impaired by marijuana, as opposed to having merely used it, is far more complicated than showing you were impaired from the use of alcohol in the typical DUI case.
Florida legalized the use of marijuana for certain medical purposes in 2016. However, while the state has legalized marijuana for medical use, it continues to be illegal for recreational use. And, regardless of whether you have a medical prescription for marijuana or you use marijuana for recreational purposes, you can be charged with DUI of marijuana if you have any amount of cannabis in your system. Further, when it comes to DUIs, Florida law doesn’t use terms like ‘driving drunk” or “driving high.” Instead, Florida makes it illegal for you to drive under the influence of a substance to the extent your “normal faculties” are impaired whether that substance is alcohol, marijuana, prescription drugs or a combination of these substances.
The critical difference between an alcohol DUI case and a marijuana DUI case is that THC, the chemical responsible for producing the marijuana “high”, can remain in your system for a long time after it is no longer psychoactive and therefore not having any effect on you. For example, if you smoke marijuana, the “high” generally peaks after about 10 minutes and lasts only from about 1 to 3 hours. Nonetheless, even though you are no longer “high”, you can have a positive THC test several hours, days or even weeks after you used marijuana. And that positive test will used by the State in an attempt to prove you were DUI of marijuana even though its effects had long worn off. Continue reading