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Posted by: Maricopa Lawyers on Feb 12, 2015

In 2010, Arizona became the 15th state to legalize the use of medical marijuana.  Since then, patients have been protected from arrest and prosecution for using the plant for medicinal purposes. Employers would also not be allowed to discriminate in hiring employees, as well as terminating employment against registered cardholders. However, there are stringent laws regarding driving and medical marijuana.

You cannot operate a motor vehicle under the influence of anything much less marijuana. Even if you are a legal patient, you cannot drive a car or motorcycle while you are medicated. However, if you are pulled over and marijuana metabolites are found in your system, this cannot be proof of impairment, although Valley prosecutors are arguing otherwise. For now, although the presence of marijuana in someone’s system isn’t proof of impairment, police will try to use several field tests as evidence that you are impaired.

Arizona law permits drivers who are not impaired to drive with prescription drugs in their system if the person is taking drugs on the order of a doctor for some medical reason, according to the prosecutors, but the main issue for cardholders is that marijuana can’t be prescribed, providing no legal base for a driver to get behind wheel with even trace amounts of the drug present in their blood.


In Arizona, DUI laws have 3 aspects; one is driving while impaired to the slightest degree, second is driving under the influence of alcohol and the third is driving under the influence of drugs. In many driving-under-the-influence-of-marijuana cases, a driver is charged firstly for driving while impaired and then for using a drug. In a few cases, motorists are charged for both driving while impaired to the slightest degree and driving under the influence of drugs.

Always carry less than 2.5 ounces of marijuana with you at all times and you can’t be arrested for drug possession if you have a valid medical marijuana card. Always have your card on hand as well as proof that you are a medical marijuana patient.