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Can I be charged with a DUI if I have a medical marijuana card in Pennsylvania?

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Answered by: Lee Anthony Ciccarelli

Located in West Chester, PACiccarelli Law Offices

West Chester, PA
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The Rise of Marijuana Related Drunk Driving In Pennsylvania

Learn more if you have questions about a medical marijuana drunk driving case in Pennsylvania. Many states, including Pennsylvania, recognize the medical benefits of cannabis, cannabidiol (CBD) and marijuana. Today, doctors prescribe medical marijuana for a wide variety of health conditions. More than 100,000 people in our state who have medical marijuana cards and are legally allowed to use marijuana.  Whether or not you are using or ingesting legal marijuana, the penalties are severe if you are suspected for driving while active THC is in our blood stream.  Now is the time to consult with a seasoned DUI lawyer in Pennsylvania.

This can lead to problems for people who use medical marijuana and drive. Few people realize that they can be charged with driving under the influence (DUI) after ingesting even a small amount of marijuana. In many cases a stopped driver may be suspected for a DUI not because of overt signs of intoxication but because the officer smells marijuana.  Once a police officer smells marijuana, he may be able to search you or your car under Pennsylvania law.  Remember, an individual can be arrested for a DUI, whether they have ingested medical marijuana or illegal pot or weed.   

Marijuana is still listed by the Federal government as a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance under the Controlled Substances Act. The act determines which substances are not allowed in any amount in someone’s system while they are driving.

There Is No Legal Limit For Marijuana When Driving

THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, can be detected in someone’s body for days and often weeks after being ingested. If you have any active THC in your system while driving, you are legally considered to be impaired.

If you are stopped for suspicion of impaired driving and police suspect that you are under the influence of marijuana, you can be charged with driving under the influence. Marijuana, as a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance, carries a significant penalty for DUI. In Pennsylvania, driving under the influence of drugs will cause you to be charged at the highest tier of the Commonwealth’s three-tier system. This means that even a first offense of dui can result in:

  • An upgraded misdemeanor on your criminal record
  • 12-month driver’s license suspension
  • From 72 hours to 6 months in jail
  • Up to $5,000 fine
  • Required alcohol highway safety school
  • You may be ordered to obtain drug treatment

Do Not Make Incriminating Statements During A Police Stop

Police may a DUI arrest after a traffic stop because they claim they can smell marijuana in the car. The odor of marijuana smoke can linger on your clothes for hours after use. The officer may ask you if you have smoked marijuana. Without realizing the consequences, you may say that you have a prescription for medical marijuana. Some even admit to having used marijuana earlier in the day, thinking that they would no longer be considered “under the influence” hours later. Unfortunately, these are incriminating statements that can be used as evidence against you in a DUI case.

If you have a medical marijuana card, you are legally using the drug. However, you can still be charged with DUI if you drive with a detectable level of THC in your blood stream. Before you say anything that could make your situation worse, consul an experienced DUI defense attorney.

Learn more about a Marijuana Related DUI from experienced Pennsylvania DUI Lawyers

Knowledge and advice our key in protecting your rights as well as your privilege to drive in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  Do not wait until is too late to speak with lawyers like my team of lawyers.  We offer free in off consults and are prepared to listen, answer your questions and represent you when it matters.

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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