Marijuana and Driving Under the Influence in Michigan

Have you been confused about the laws surrounding marijuana in Michigan?

In November of 2012, four Michigan cities voted and passed the decriminalization for personal use of marijuana. These four cities, Flint, Detroit, Grand Rapids and Ypsilanti joined the city of Ann Arbor which passed it back in the 1970s. Now for many only confusion remains about the law and what is allowed and what is not in Michigan.

Last month a Novi, Michigan man was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of marijuana. Here is what the reported about the incident,

An officer saw a man fail to stop at the flashing red light at Meadowbrook and Nine Mile roads, the report said. The officer stopped the driver and could smell marijuana coming from the car, according to the report. The man said he was coming from a friend’s house where they had been smoking marijuana, the report said. The officer administered several sobriety tests, with which the man had difficulty, according to the report.”

After searching the car, the police found .3 grams of marijuana and a bottle of liquid cannabis (Green CAT).

While Novi isn’t one of the cities that passed the vote to decriminalize marijuana, there is still a lot of confusing information. Cities like Grand Rapids have only recently started to implement decriminalization of marijuana in the past few months.

Let’s take a look at what the law currently says about using marijuana and driving. According to the Michigan State Police website,

Drivers with any amount of a Schedule 1 narcotic–such as marijuana, GHB, or heroin–are subject to the same fines and penalties as drunk drivers, even if they show no signs of impairment.”

To further add to confusion, in May 2013, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that “medical marijuana users aren’t automatically breaking the law if they’re caught driving after using the drug” according to ABC Action News.

That report continues to explore the confusion brought by the medical law and legal limits. In this case, the court suggested that “lawmakers consider setting a marijuana limit, similar to a blood alcohol level.”

Even with decriminalization is happening all over the state and all over the country, remember using marijuana and driving could expose you to the same punishments as drinking and driving.

If you or someone you know is charged with driving under the influence of marijuana, having an aggressive and knowledgeable attorney is critical. An experienced criminal defense attorney that relentlessly represents an individual’s rights in a confusing situation can make all the difference.