After marijuana has been legalized in Massachusetts, there has been a lot of changes to the laws. One of the major issues is what happens when a person gets pulled over with the suspicion of driving while under the influence of marijuana? This is not a new thing as there has always been a charge of operation of while under the influence of drugs statute. The law including forbidding a person from driving a car while under the influence of marijuana.
The statute doesn't just criminalize marijuana, but also includes other drugs such as cocaine, heroin, prescription drugs and many more. However, marijuana has proven to be a particular tricky drug to enforce under the statute for many reasons. First, unlike other drugs marijuana can stay in a person's system for a long period of time. Meaning that marijuana can be detected in a person's system long after the effects have worn off. Second, seeing that there are different ways to ingest marijuana i.e. smoking, drinking or eating, marijuana being in person's system doesn't make the best correlation in affecting a person's behavior. And finally, scientist has not been able to agree on what physical signs a person may show when they are under the influence of marijuana.
Because scientist have not been able to agree on which signs is related to indicating a person is under the influence of marijuana, police trained to look for particular signs of marijuana are not scientifically reliable. The government is using many resources and funds to trained so called drug recognition experts so they can testify at trial about the signs or clues of marijuana impairment, however, at this point they are not supported by the scientific community.
What happens next will be interesting. Companies are scrambling to create a machine or a test that will determine the level of THC in a person's system. The machine or test will not only need to prove to be reliable, but it will also need to not violate a person's constitutional rights. One of those rights given to every person is the right against illegal search and seizures. Even if a person's is arrested, it will be highly unlikely the court will allow that person's blood to be taken for testing.
Driving while under the influence of marijuana is one of the largest concerns the government has with the legalization of marijuana. The government has long argued that should marijuana be legalized it will create a more dangerous world. The government is trying to show this by charging individuals with OUI drugs specifically marijuana. These cases often prove to be challenge for the government to prosecute.