Sunday , November 19 2017
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Washington State Marijuana Legalization: Could it Pit Medical Users v. Recreational Users When it Comes to Driving??

On Friday, Judge Lisa Sutton in Washington rejected a request by a user of medical marijuana to block Washington state from implementing tougher rules on “stoned driving.”

After approving a measure for legalizing the use of recreational marijuana in November, from this Thursday, Washington became the first U.S. state to not only legalize marijuana recreational use, but also bring into effect new checks and balances.

The new rules, especially those related with driving under the influence of marijuana has a tolerance limit low enough to keep marijuana users from driving vehicles after a few puffs on a joint.

The mandate is clear – you smoke to enjoy at peace and at ease – but do not engage in driving while stoned, as that might put lives at risk.

Arthur West, an attorney based in Olympia brought the legal challenge to the tough “stoned driving” laws argued that the initiatives title had wrongly left out any reference to the DUI laws.

West holds that the new provisions related to “stoned driving” would allow police to target medical marijuana users, who typically have higher blood levels of THC – as they use marijuana to treat medical conditions.

West argued, “I don’t think it’s fair that the tens of thousands of [medical marijuana] patients in the state of Washington have to choose between whether they take their medicine or be subject to arrest for driving under the influence every time they get in their cars.”

However, while rejecting West’s arguments, Judge Sutton said that the police are empowered to stop drivers suspect of impaired driving. She said, “That is the same case today, after the passage of this initiative, as it was before.”

West intends to pursue the matter up to the state supreme court if necessary – in a fight that might pit the interests of recreational users of marijuana against the interests of medical marijuana users.

Other states that have contemplated the legalization of marijuana will be watching as the legal system reacts.  Read the DUI News Blog for updates on this story.

About Mike Hawkins

Mike Hawkins
ATTORNEY MICHAEL HAWKINS is one of only four lawyers in Georgia who has been recognized by the American Bar Association as Board Certified in DUI Defense. Hawkins is listed among the Best Lawyers in America in DUI Defense and has been named a Super Lawyer in Atlanta Magazine for the last 9 years. The Hawkins Law Firm handles only contested DUI charges. They have the experience, skills and commitment to make a difference for their clients and their proactive approach to fighting DUI cases has proven successful. The reputation of your lawyer can make a difference in the outcome of your case. After 20 years of practice, Mike and his staff have developed strong working relationships with judges and court staff, and with prosecutors and their staff. Mike is a graduate of Emory University School of Law and is a former DUI prosecutor in metro Atlanta. He is recognized nationally and has been invited to teach DUI Defense seminars all over a dozen states. His goal is simple – to work hard towards keeping a DUI off your record. Most of the clients that the Hawkins Law Firm assists are professionals who want to protect their record and keep their drivers license. If you or someone you know has a DUI charge and needs a lawyer who works hard to achieve positive results, call the Hawkins Law Firm.

If you would like to contact the author, please visit: http://www.hawkinsduilaw.com


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