Since Pennsylvania legalized the use of medical cannabis, I have seen a significant upswing in people who have been charged with DUI for driving under the influence of cannabis, or “marijuana.” Most of these clients are quite surprised by the fact that the very same government that issued them a license to legally use medical cannabis is now gleefully prosecuting them for using that very same drug.

Pursuant to DEA Regulations, cannabis is a Schedule I Drug. Under 75 Pa. C.S. §3802(d)(iii) someone who drives with any amount of the metabolites (the chemical byproducts left in your system as the drug breaks down) of any Schedule I Drug in their system is guilty of violating the Pennsylvania DUI law.

There is no exception in the DUI law for medical cannabis cardholders. See my earlier article on the perverse evolution of DUI Law.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, the metabolites of cannabis are detectable in the user’s system for up to thirty days after they stop using the drug. Because of this, if you are a medical cannabis user, you risk a DUI every time you get behind the wheel.

Until the DUI law changes, the only way you can be legal enough to drive is to discontinue the use of cannabis for thirty days. In the meantime, while we are waiting for the law to change to accommodate lawful users of cannabis-based medicines, if you get pulled over, follow my previous advice on what to do when you are stopped for DUI.

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