Although its use is tightly controlled, it is now legal for some people to use medical marijuana in the state of Texas under the guidance of a physician; however, defense lawyers warn that this type of use does not mean it can be used indiscriminately by patients, particularly when driving.
Because the effects of marijuana are similar to those of alcohol, criminal defense lawyers warn that you could end up with a DUI if you use marijuana for medical purposes and continue to drive.
Marijuana Produces Impairment Similar to Alcohol
While marijuana may be extremely helpful in helping some Texans permitted to use it on a medical basis, a defense lawyer can attest that it also produces effects similar to that of using alcohol.
Cannabis can drastically affect your ability to drive a car and greatly increases the possibility of causing an accident which could leave you in need of the services of a criminal defense lawyer.
Blood THC levels of 2 to 5 ng/mL are enough to slow cognitive function to the point that it becomes difficult to control a vehicle.
Weaving, driving too fast or too slowly, and slowed reaction time are notable effects from marijuana, similar to those experienced after drinking alcohol.
Texas Medical Marijuana Laws Restrict Driving
For the patients who need it, medical marijuana can be a lifesaver; however, defense lawyers stress that Texas law stipulates how medical marijuana must be used, specifically excluding driving after using it.
In other words, even though your doctor may write you a prescription for medical marijuana, you are still required to use it in accordance with Texas state driving laws that prohibit driving while intoxicated, whether with alcohol, drugs, or marijuana used for medicinal purposes.
Proving Marijuana DUI
If you use medical marijuana, it’s important to understand that the penalties for driving while under the influence of any substance are severed and can lead to fines, jail time, and other punishment.
Even if you are medically allowed to use marijuana, your defense lawyer may not be able to protect you from certain charges or punishments if you are stopped for DUI and it is proven that you were impaired at the time.
Yet criminal defense lawyers do know that impairment from marijuana can be harder to prove than that from alcohol somewhat because there is no legal minimum limit as to the amount of THC that can be found within your body to prove intoxication.
Why is this true? THC can stay in your body for weeks not just hours, whereas alcohol in your bloodstream can be metabolized in as little as a few hours after consumption.
So the burden of proof rests on the prosecution proving after the fact that you were either mentally or physically impaired as a result of marijuana use at the time you were stopped.
Avoid A Potential DUI - Don’t Drive and Use Medical Marijuana
Even though it can be more difficult to prove that you were intoxicated while driving, defense lawyers discourage the use of medical marijuana when you plan to get behind the wheel.
You could still be stopped and arrested, just as if you were under the influence of alcohol, and you will still need the services of a criminal defense lawyer to handle any charges.
If your marijuana use is legal in Texas due to medical reasons, keep it legal by not driving until long after its effects are over!
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