Last week, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled (PDF) that individuals allowed to use medicinal marijuana could not be arrested for driving under the influence of THC. The Verge did a good job of laying out the basics of this case, including the essential conflict in the law that needed to be reconciled. According to that article:
[t]hough Michigan has a zero-tolerance policy for driving “under the influence” of marijuana, it also has a law on the books that exempts medical marijuana users from any sort of persecution for its use, and so the court had to decide which of the two laws it wanted to uphold.
In other words, the question was whether or not Michigan’s medical marijuana law took precedence over state statutes that prohibit operating a vehicle with any amount of a schedule I drug in the driver’s system. The answer to which is, apparently, yes. According to the decision itself:
[u]nder the MMMA [Michigan Medical Marihuana Act], all other acts and parts of acts inconsistent with the MMMA do not apply to the medical use of marijuana. Consequently, MCL 257.625(8) [the statute that prohibits driving under the influence of a schedule I substance] does not apply to the medical use of marijuana. The Court of Appeals incorrectly concluded that defendant could be convicted under MCL 257.625(8) without proof that he had acted in violation of the MMMA by operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of marijuana.
While the Court did side with the driver in this case, they also noted that “the MMMA is an imperfect statute, the interpretation of which has repeatedly required this Court’s intervention.” They also recommended that the legislature amend the statute to address the issue of medical marijuana users driving under the influence of marijuana.
So, what’s your opinion on this issue? Vote in this week’s poll and see the results!
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