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.
Barton Morris has been a well respected and premier attorney in Michigan for over 20 years. In every area of law he has practiced he has excelled to the top of his field always ensuring that his clients receive the highest and best level of service available. He is the principal attorney at the Law Office of Barton Morris which is comprised of a small number of attorneys all of whom share in his vision to improve the lives of their clients with superior service and exemplary results. When it comes to criminal defense, Barton’s reputation is stellar. He has been teaching lawyers all over the country as a faculty member of the DUI Defense Lawyer’s Association and as the President of the Michigan Association of OWI Lawyers. Barton is the only attorney in Michigan certified by the American Chemical Society as a Forensic-Lawyer Scientist. He is also the only criminal defense lawyer to present to the Forensic Science Division of the Michigan State Police at their annual conference. Barton was also the only chosen criminal defense attorney to present to the Michigan State Police’s Impaired Driving Commission on the issues of driving under the influence of marijuana. Regarding marijuana, he has also very well known and respected. Barton played an instrumental role in the legalization of adult use marijuana in Michigan with the successful Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in November of 2018 (he was also part of the failed campaign in 2016). Barton is currently the chair-elect of the Cannabis Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan and will Chair that section in 2023-2024. He is the founder of the Cannabis Legal Group which has been delivering expert legal services to the commercial medical and AU industry since 2015. Barton has been named a Super Lawyer every year since 2015 and a Top Lawyer by DBusiness Magazine annually. He regularly appears as a guest legal commentator on Fox 2, Let it Rip, WXYZ, NPR, and WWJ. He is also regularly interviewed and quoted in the Detroit Free Press, Metro Times and MLive. But despite all of his accomplishments, he believes his most important are the amazing results he and his firm has and continue to obtain for his clients over the years.