In 2019, The State of Michigan began accepting license applications for adult-use marijuana establishments. However, local law enforcement started tackling issues ranging from complaints about marijuana’s smell to preparing for an “increase” in high driving far before then. This article explores how Michigan police test for marijuana, the junk science behind it, how marijuana differs from alcohol, and how to fight marijuana charges you may be facing.
While some police departments are taking a “hands-off” approach (not making arrests for marijuana consumption related charges), most are not.
Michigan State Police troopers are saying that marijuana legalization is making their jobs difficult, especially during traffic stops when officers can smell it.
These troopers say many prosecutors haven’t made it clear how law enforcement should handle each situation.
“We come across a lot of kids that are under 21 that have possession of it and obviously, that’s in violation so we seize it and go through the process that way,” Michigan State Police Sgt. Andrew Jeffrey said to WWMT-3. “But when we come across people that are 21 and older and actually have it legally, that’s where it’s kind of hard to deal with it in that aspect.”
WDIV-Channel 4 posted anarticle about the significant increase of drugged driving arrests made by officers in Washtenaw County, including marijuana.
The article states that this increase could be attributed to the extensive training provided to officers.
One of these programs, theAdvanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE), is credited for improved detection of drugged drivers.
However, ARIDE has a number of problems with its curriculum, specifically how Michigan police test for marijuana.
Tests are sometimes improperly administered.Field sobriety tests, breath and blood tests should be performed in substantial compliance with how they’re taught. Failure to do so renders the tests meaningless.
Officers enter false information into police reports to make their case look stronger. Perhaps the person just isn’t driving impaired, but the officer doesn’t want to be proven wrong.
The science behind ARIDE tests isn’t proven. Therefore, some “clues” provided by these tests hold zero value towards guilt or innocence.
While we definitely encourage safe driving and discourage smoking marijuana while driving, we do realize that the lack of understanding surrounding marijuana’s effect on driving can lead to wrongful arrests.
Don’t trust your DUI charge, whether drugs or drunk driving, to someone who simply dabbles in this area of law.
As you can see, the police actively train and learn new techniques everyday. You should expect that your lawyer is learning and training just as hard.