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The quandary of legal marijuana resulting in arrests

On Behalf of | May 25, 2023 | OVI Defense |

Countless scenarios exist following the flashing lights reflecting in the mirror or a criminal suspect’s car. For many Ohio residents who use marijuana legally and face criminal charges, the level of THC in their system could lead to an arrest.

New legislation could change what many believe is a disconnect in state law that allows for legally purchased medication from a dispensary or smoke shop. Yet, the purchase and subsequent use could result in an Operating a Vehicle Under the Influence (OVI) arrest.

Much-needed revisions to drug laws

Current statutes are believed to be woefully outdated and reflect a different time. Legislation revising marijuana laws and the standards of the crime comes in response to the significant increase in marijuana licenses that allow for medical use.

Referred to as “per se limits,” where drivers are operating a vehicle with a certain amount of marijuana and its metabolites are in their systems but show no sign of impairment. Removing the limits would end automatic license suspension.

Studies show that cannabis can stay in a user’s system for weeks without ill effects. The bill would allow drivers to have up to 25 nanograms of THC per milliliter in their urine, a significant increase from the previous 10. Blood tests must reach five nanograms of THC per milliliter to trigger an OVI arrest.

In the end, the scientific community believes that evidence shows that impairment should be treated on a case-by-case basis.

Ohio and other states are still finding their way through the myriad of complexities that comes with legalized marijuana. Users legally consuming a legal product should not have to suffer due to outdated, if not archaic, laws.

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