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Can You Get a DUI with a Medical Card?

    • You can’t get a DUI just for having a medical marijuana card.

 

    • You can even use some CBD products and drive safely, though the laws on using CBD and driving vary from state to state. Driving while intoxicated, on the other hand, is illegal across the board.

 

    • If your marijuana products get you high (i.e., contain THC), then you shouldn’t drive after use, or you could get a DUI and unintentionally endanger others.

 


Have you thought about applying for an online medical marijuana card before? Medical marijuana as a potential treatment option is gaining more popularity, more clinical evidence, and more understanding by the year. You may have questions about its legal limits, though; after all, marijuana is still classified as a controlled substance on a federal level.

In particular, as CBD products become more mainstream, questions about their legality for drivers crop up. Can you get a DUI for driving after using medical marijuana? Can the simple act of having a medical marijuana card put you at risk for a DUI?

Fortunately, the answer to the second question is no. Having a medical marijuana card doesn’t mean anything in the eyes of the law when it comes to verifying a DUI charge. It’s all about your level of intoxication or the presence of intoxicating substances at the time of your arrest.

In short: it’s possible to get a DUI if you use certain medical marijuana products before driving, but you won’t get one just for driving with a medical marijuana recommendation.

Follow along as we dive into medical marijuana cards, how medical marijuana works, and how jurisdictions across the nation handle this matter.

What Is a Medical Marijuana Card?

To understand the importance of medical marijuana cards, you have to take a look at the state of marijuana legalization in America.

Across the nation, people are pushing to have marijuana rescheduled to a Schedule III drug instead of a Schedule I drug—its current classification implies that marijuana is highly dangerous with no medical use (despite evidence to the contrary).

Waves of legalization have swept over the nation, leading to 24 states legalizing both medical and recreational use. Currently, 40 states and the District of Columbia allow for either medical or recreational use, and others are preparing to follow suit.

In states that only allow for medical marijuana use, such as Louisiana, patients must purchase marijuana from regulated dispensaries. A medical marijuana card is the key you need to access dispensaries in your state. Without one, you can’t enter. Fortunately, the application process is easier than you may think.

How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card

If you want to get an online medical marijuana card, TeleLeaf can help. Our brand was made for and by people who understand the challenges of finding a healing path that works for you.

Our goals are simple:

  • To connect you with healthcare providers who understand the value of marijuana as a healing tool
  • To give you the tools you need to work with these providers to craft a personally tailored health plan
  • To help you apply for your medical marijuana card and open new doors to healing

Once you have your card, you should brush up on the DUI laws in your state. After all, some forms of marijuana do cause intoxication, and awareness of local regulations can help you proceed through your treatment plan within legal limitations.

DUIs and Medical Marijuana

No matter what state you live in, it’s illegal to drive under the influence of intoxicating substances. Most people think about alcohol when they think of DUIs, but in reality, DUIs can apply to a number of mind-altering substances, like:

  • Psychedelics
  • Some pain relievers
  • Certain prescription medications
  • Some over-the-counter cough syrups

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the intoxicating compound in cannabis, impairs your ability to drive safely. Thus, it’s illegal to drive under the influence of THC in any state.

Note that it doesn’t matter if you’re using marijuana recreationally or for medical reasons. Regardless of whether you have a prescription for your marijuana, you still should not drive if you’re intoxicated.

Penalties for a Marijuana DUI

The penalties for a DUI vary widely, so you’ll need to look up the laws specific to your state. To give you a general idea, though, you may face:

  • Mandated counseling
  • The suspension or revocation of your license
  • Probation or community service
  • Jail time
  • Felony or misdemeanor charges
  • Fines

These are hard-hitting, life-altering consequences. Criminal records can haunt you for your entire life, making it hard to get a job or even find housing. The fines and fees can set you back by thousands of dollars, and jail time can interrupt important life milestones.

Rather than taking the risk, play it safe. Don’t use any marijuana products with THC content and then drive.

But what about products made from CBD rather than THC? In these cases, the answer is a little different.

Can You Get a DUI For Using CBD?

In short: it depends. Cannabidiol (CBD) doesn’t have psychoactive effects like THC does, meaning it doesn’t make you high. Since most DUI laws focus on physical impairment, your chance of getting a DUI from a CBD product is pretty low. On top of that, CBD is no longer a controlled substance per the 2018 Farm Bill: a federal law that legalizes the growth, processing, sale, purchase, possession, and use of CBD-rich hemp products.

CBD Legalization

The passage of the 2018 Farm Bill legalized CBD and hemp nationwide.

But, to ensure that these products don’t lead to impairment, this federal law has two requirements for CBD products:

  1. CBD needs to be derived from hemp rather than marijuana.
  2. CBD products can’t contain more than 0.3% or more of THC.

Generally speaking, if your CBD product falls into these categories, you should be fine. Even if your product of choice contains the highest possible legal concentration of THC (0.3%), this concentration is negligible: thus, there’s an extremely low likelihood that hemp products will produce an intoxicating effect.

However, there are notable exceptions. Though state laws tend to abide by federal regulations, some states have their own laws governing marijuana use.

For example, in Idaho, any amount of THC and any product made from the Cannabis sativa plant (including hemp, a type of this plant) are illegal. Per se, laws also exist. Washington residents, for example, can’t drive with more than five nanograms of THC in their system.

While product testing and labeling have come a long way, even legally purchased marijuana products aren’t FDA-approved. The reality is that even dispensary-grade products aren’t tested as rigorously as pharmaceutical medications. When it comes to using labeled and tested marijuana products, take a “trust, but verify” approach:

  1. Assume that, for the most part, labels on regulated marijuana products are correct, but
  2. Use these products multiple times in the comfort of your own home to get a feel for your individual response

Best Practice for CBD Users

If you have a valid prescription for medical marijuana, it’s possible to seek defense or even exemption from DUI laws if you drive unimpaired with trace levels of THC in your system.

However, it’s ultimately best to be careful when shopping for products. This will help keep trace levels of THC in your system in the first place, saving you an enormous headache.

Remember the following when shopping:

  • Find products that are suggested or supported by physicians.
  • Look for product labels and read them carefully.
  • Select products with third-party lab testing.
  • Opt for hemp-derived products if you plan to drive.

Following these tips will lower your exposure to THC and cut down on the possibility of you ending up with a DUI charge to fight.

Get Your Medical Marijuana Card with TeleLeaf

So: if you’re going to use medical marijuana, understand your local laws and take a responsible approach. Drive safely, and never get behind the wheel if you’re impaired. This applies to the use of any product with more than 0.3% THC content, even if you don’t feel impaired.

On the other hand, if you use CBD products, you could theoretically drive after use. Just make sure your CBD products have .3% THC or lower, and that they have been checked by the appropriate regulatory agencies for consistency and quality.

Keep in mind that state laws handle CBD use and DUI laws differently. Look up the laws in your state, and when in doubt, err on the side of caution. You can always wait a few hours before running your errands. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Knowing this, don’t be afraid to reach out to TeleLeaf to learn more about the process for applying for a medical marijuana card. Our community is ready and waiting to help you through these new steps in your healing journey.

Having this card won’t put you at risk of a DUI. Instead, it can open up a new world of medical possibilities for you—as long as you use it responsibly.


Sources:

MJBizDaily. Where marijuana is legal in the United States.
https://mjbizdaily.com/map-of-us-marijuana-legalization-by-state/

Forbes. Can You Get a DUI For Marijuana?
https://www.forbes.com/advisor/legal/dui-marijuana/

Nolo. Am I Allowed To Drive After Taking CBD?
https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/am-i-allowed-to-drive-after-taking-cbd.html

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