PA House Votes to Protect MMJ Patients from Potential DUI Charges
Yesterday the PA House voted for an amendment that would finally provide much needed protections for patients in Pennsylvania. Since the beginning of the mmj program patients have been at risk for DUI penalties 24/7 365 days a year, regardless of their level of impairment, if any at all. This means that even if a patient had not consumed any mmj products within the last few days they could be pulled over by police at any given moment and charged for a DUI based on the THC that is detectable within their system. Not only is that unjust but extremely problematic for patients who are trying to purchase and consume their mmj products legally. Thankfully, that is beginning to change!
- - -
The Pennsylvania House of Representatives approved an amendment on Tuesday that would protect medical marijuana patients from being penalized under the state’s DUI laws for using their legal medicine.
The proposal cleared the chamber as an amendment to a broader piece of legislation concerning motor vehicle policies. It passed in a 109-93 vote.
As it stands, registered medical cannabis patients can be convicted of driving under the influence of a controlled substance if THC metabolites are detected in their blood. That’s despite the fact that marijuana can remain present in the body well after someone is considered impaired.
The House-approved amendment, which is now attached to a bill previously passed by the Senate, exempts “marijuana used lawfully in accordance with” the state’s medical cannabis law from DUI statutes.
“I think that you can ask any veteran or anybody that’s using medical cannabis right now, if they took the prescription on Monday, [on] Wednesday, they’re not high,” Rep. Ed Gainey (D) said in a floor speech before the vote. “And if they got pulled over, they darned shouldn’t be charged for being intoxicated or under the influence of medical marijuana.”
More info at marijuanamoment.net