Can You Smoke Marijuana Before Driving?

Are you allowed to smoke marijuana then drive?

While it will always be illegal to smoke while you drive, the answer on smoking then driving is unfortunately more complicated than yes or no. With the recent legalization of marijuana in Michigan, many people are wondering how this will impact the driving laws in Michigan. After all, we all know about the .08 limit for drinking alcohol and driving.

What is the limit for marijuana?

The Michigan State Police sought to develop a “.08 standard” for marijuana use. They developed a commission to investigate if a scientific standard could be reached regarding impairment. The Law Offices of Barton Morris, with Barton as the contributing attorney, was the only defense firm consulted on this matter.

What did Michigan State Police find? No standard could be determined. Therefore, there is no “per se” limit to the amount of THC someone can have in their system. Instead, each incident must be taken on a case by case basis to determine impairment.

THC limit while driving

What does this mean for the recreational marijuana user?

This is a tremendous gift to the consumers of marijuana in this state. Instead of cracking under the pressure like other states, Michigan admits that no scientific evidence exists to show impairment based solely on a THC level. Thus, Michigan does not have a cutoff level at this time.

This gives those who are accused of OWI involving marijuana the opportunity to prove they were not impaired based on their actual ability to operate a vehicle, not some arbitrary number.

How do I know if I’m over the THC limit?

Use your common sense. Keeping the following in mind:

  • If you do not know your tolerance, do not smoke then drive. Even if you do know your tolerance, be safe.
  • The police will use any small infraction of the traffic laws to pull you over. If you admit to recently smoking, you will almost assuredly be arrested.
  • Even if your THC levels are incredibly low, you may still be very impaired. Therefore, a person could have high levels but exhibit no signs of impairment.
  • On the flip side, a novice user could have low tolerance and low THC levels, but still look very impaired.
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The takeaway? BE SMART

This does not mean that you are free to use marijuana and drive; you must be responsible! Judges and many potential jurors still strongly dislike marijuana.

In addition, many police departments are training their officers in marijuana impairment detection. However, if you consumed responsibly and still find yourself in some legal trouble, give us a call. Do not allow the police to paint you as a criminal for using a legal substance. Exercise your rights and call our team of experienced and vigilant defense attorneys.