State Supreme Court may consider marijuana driving case

April 01, 2013

Arizona's highest court is being asked to decide whether anyone who smokes marijuana, legally or not, can ever drive legally in the state.

The case involves a man who was stopped for speeding and whose blood test showed a metabolite of the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, which resulted in a charge of driving under the influence. A lower court judge threw the case out because this particular metabolite can remain in the system for up to a month after marijuana use.

The appellate court reinstated the case, but the driver's lawyer wants the state Supreme Court to intervene, and Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery says lawmakers could declare anyone with any level of THC in the blood is impaired.

“We don’t know at what rate most of the population would be able to break down marijuana until it was in its non-psychoactive elements,” Montgomery said.

Montgomery says there is a right to travel but that no court has ever found there's a right to a driver's license. The high court has not decided whether to take the case.

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