On November 20, 2015 the Arizona Supreme Court issued Dobson v. McClennen an important opinion in the marijuana DUI arena. Although the Court took a middle-ground approach in considering the State’s and Defendant/Petitioner’s arguments, it now allows the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA) to be used in a marijuana DUI case. For the vast majority of marijuana DUIs prosecuted in Arizona, this case does not mean a whole lot. However, this does modify the November marijuana DUI myth of the month.
A defendant charged with marijuana DUI now has a defense if both: (1) the defendant was using marijuana pursuant to a medical marijuana card under AMMA and (2) the marijuana or its metabolite was in a concentration insufficient to cause impairment. This is certainly a positive step for defendants, and in my opinion, society. It is important to note that the decision does NOT allow someone to drive while under the influence of marijuana, even with a card. Additionally, a defendant is tasked with the burden of proving the marijuana is in an insufficient quantity to cause impairment, which may be an uphill battle requiring expert testimony.
If you have been charged with a marijuana DUI find out if you have a defense by calling attorney Matt Maerowitz for a free consultation at 602-912-5897.