Driving Laws Related to Medical Cannabis and Impacts on Driving Skills
It is true that cannabis-related laws have now become less stringent all over the United States. However, a "Cannabis DUI" can still lead to serious legal issues in all states across the nation. Unfortunately, things are no different for medical cannabis users.
Most of us are aware of the fact that driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs such as marijuana is illegal. However, medical cannabis users often have a misconception that it is okay to drive a vehicle as long as the medical cannabis rules are followed. That, unfortunately, is not the case. No American state permits medical cannabis users to drive while they are under the influence. Regardless of the factor responsible for the impairment, an impaired motorist is considered to be an unsafe driver throughout the country.
In order to avoid cannabis DUI charges, medical users must be aware of and adhere to certain rules related to driving after their treatment. Cannabis DUI convictions may lead to serious penalties such as license suspension, jail term, and fines.
Impact of Cannabis on Driving Skills:
Several driving simulation studies have indicated that key driving-related skills such as target detection, tracking ability, and reaction time can be negatively impacted by using cannabis. Also, cannabis is proven to affect cognitive skills such as executive functions, divided attention, anticipation, judgment, etc. Therefore, regardless of the purpose of consumption, it can't be denied that cannabis does have an adverse impact on our driving skills.
It is also claimed by the experts that individuals under the influence of cannabis have a tendency to overestimate how impaired they are. This is why they tend to drive slowly, take fewer risks, and maintain a greater distance from other cars while driving under the influence of cannabis. On the other hand, individuals under the influence of alcohol tend to underestimate their impairment and show exactly opposite driving patterns.
Lawful Driving as a Medical Cannabis User:
If you are a medical cannabis user, there are certainly reasons for you to worry about avoiding DUI charges. You should first try to figure out how marijuana DUI charges are treated by the legal system of your state.
For an individual to be convicted of a DUI, the prosecutor should be able to establish that he or she was "under the influence" of cannabis while driving. Different definitions of being "under the influence" are followed by the states across the nation. However, in general, there are two ways to establish that an individual was driving under the influence.
- A certain concentration of THC in the system of the driver.
- Establishment of the driver's actual impairment by cannabis.
Laws prohibiting individuals with a certain concentration of cannabis in their system from driving are typically referred to as "per se" DUI laws. Depending on your state of residence, there may be a limit of certain nanograms of THC per liter of blood.
In some states, drivers are considered to be under the influence, if they are affected by marijuana. However, some other states may require evidence of substantial impairment.
Punishments for Cannabis DUI:
Even if cannabis is used for medical purposes, penalties for DUI may include probation, jail time, fines, or license suspension. More severe sentences are possible for DUIs that involve factors such as traffic accidents, prior convictions, reckless driving, and the presence of a minor in the vehicle during the offense.
As a medical marijuana patient, if you are serious about avoiding medical cannabis DUI, it is a good idea to contact a local lawyer and find out ways stay within the law while driving. You may also seek advice by going to visit i49, a popular cannabis seed bank.