Bipartisan legislation filed this week in the Pennsylvania Legislature would protect medical marijuana patients from receiving DUIs based simply on the presence of THC in their blood.
Under Pennsylvania’s current zero tolerance DUI law, someone can be found guilty of a marijuana DUI if they have just one nanogram of THC per milliliter of blood, despite the fact that THC can remain in the system for days and sometimes weeks after last use. The law does not discern between recreational marijuana users and those who are authorized to use the plant for medical purposes.
A new bill filed by Republican Senator Mike Regan and Democrat Senator James Brewster would change this so that the presence of THC could not be the sole cause of someone receiving a DUI if they are authorized to use medical marijuana. A companion bill in the House is sponsored by Representatives Chris Rabb and Aaron Kaufer.
“In 2016, the PA General Assembly voted to legalize medicinal use of cannabis”, said Representatives Rabb and Kaufer in a public statement. “Sadly, the legislature failed to provide these patients the same privileges afforded to others who have legal prescriptions for a scheduled medication. Medicinal cannabis patients regularly contact our offices concerned that state law makes it illegal for them to drive”.
Under the proposed law, a medical marijuana user could still be charged with a DUI if an officer can prove actual impairment.