Medical Marijuana Defense – Driving Under the Influence of THC

On April 17, 2012 the Michigan Court of Appeals decided the case of People v. Rodney Lee Koon, 2012 Mich. App. LEXIS 691 and held that whether an individual has obtained a Medical Marijuana Registry Card or not, he / she is still prohibited from operating a motor vehicle with active THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) in his / her system.

 

Despite Michigan’s Medical Marijuana Act (MMMA), marijuana remains a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance. While the MMMA affords a certain degree of immunity from prosecution for possession or use of marijuana for a medical purpose, it does not provide protection from the Michigan Motor Vehicle Code for what is commonly termed as “Drugged Driving.”

 

Ultimately, People v. Rodney Lee Koon, 2012 Mich. App. LEXIS 691 solidifies the Motor Vehicle Code, and bars citizens of Michigan with a Medical Marijuana Registry Card from using the MMMA as a defense to prosecution in a “Drugged Driving” case under MCL §257.625(8).

 

Michael D. Hills

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