Driving on Marijuana is a criminal offense in Michigan called Operating Under the Influence of Drugs or Operating With the Presence of a Controlled Substance. Driving on drugs is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in jail, fines, and a suspended license.
Driving on Marijuana under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act
Even if you are a patient under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act you cannot legally drive with marijuana in your system. If any active THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) is in your system when you are driving you can be charged with Operating Under the Influence of Drugs.
The elements of driving on drugs
All crimes are made of elements. In all criminal cases the prosecuting attorney has the burden of proving each element beyond a reasonable doubt. If even one element cannot be proven you are entitled to a directed verdict or acquittal.
The elements of driving on drugs are the following:
First, that you were operating a motor vehicle. “Operating” means driving or having actual physical control of the vehicle.
Second, that you were operating the vehicle on a highway or other place that was open to the public (or generally accessible to motor vehicles, including any designated parking area).
Third, that while operating the vehicle, you had any amount of a schedule 1 or 2 controlled substance in your body.
Driving on Marijuana Defense
A metabolite is a result of the human body metabolizing something that was consumed. After marijuana is consumed the body begins to metabolize the THC. After you consume marijuana active THC is present but begins to be dissolved and a marijuana metabolite is produced.
The Michigan Supreme Court has held that the THC metabolite, 11-carboxy-THC is not a derivative of marijuana, and therefore is not a schedule 1 controlled substance. This means that while it may be possible to determine that a person had consumed marijuana in the past, they cannot be convicted for driving on drugs from the presence of the metabolite alone.
In order to determine if this may be a reason for your case to be dismissed it is important to hire a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer.
If you have been charged with driving on marijuana call criminal defense lawyer, Aaron J. Boria for a free consultation (734) 453-7806