In today’s episode Chuck explains how a Medical Marijuana DUI could be effected by having a Medical Marijuana card.
Hello friends. I know that a lot of you have Medical Marijuana cards and are smoking for medicinal reasons. But let me tell you, you can still get a DUI.
What happens in a trial situation, if a police officer thinks you have been smoking. If you have admitted to him that you have smoked or maybe have some medical marijuana in the car, nine times out of ten he’s going to arrest you because he is going to assume that you are impaired. He’s going to assume you’re impaired regardless of how far back you had smoked before driving, or how much you had.
The point is that in the United States the burden is on the government to prove you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of a crime. The burden never really shifts except in the case if a Medical Marijuana DUI if you have your medical card. If you’ve got the medical marijuana card or you’ve got a prescription for Xanax or Percocet or something the burden is then on you by a preponderance of the evidence. Not guilt beyond a reasonable doubt or proof beyond a reasonable doubt but a preponderance of the evidence, which is just enough to unbalance a scale, to show that you weren’t impaired. That goes for any prescription drug.
Now keep in mind also that if you don’t have a prescription for any of those other drugs and you just got it from a friend or something that’s a different story. Then you’re going to have an issue. Because without a prescription it turns into an illegal substance. The state again has the burden of proof and you don’t have to show that you were not impaired. But because you don’t have a prescription you’re sort of automatically guilty. You don’t want to go down that road.
So if you’re going to go down that road and drive a vehicle, you need to get your card. If you do end up getting popped for a DUI, keep in mind the burden is on you. It is a great Burden as far as I am concerned, because it shifts to you to show that you were not impaired. And that is to the slightest degree. The jury instruction is “If you find the defendant guilty of driving while impaired to the slightest degree they have to find them guilty.” Same thing in an alcohol case.