Medical Marijuana in Las Vegas
If one possesses marijuana in the State of Nevada, one is either possessing marijuana legally or illegally. The only way to legally have possession of marijuana is to have a valid medical marijuana card. If you have a valid marijuana card or are thinking about getting a one, there are issues to be aware of when it comes to operating a motor vehicle.
Let’s be clear, having a marijuana card is not a defense to a DUI.
It is true that having a valid medical marijuana card is not to be used as probable cause to search a person or the person’s property.
The main issue is one of privacy. If one has a medical marijuana card, then the DMV will become involved in the issuance and registry of the medical marijuana card. With this involvement comes the fact that there is a record that you have a license to use medical marijuana.
This record now shows up on your “scope,” which like having a concealed firearm permit or a criminal record, police now will have notice of what you may legally have prescribed to you.
If say someone was pulled over for a simple speeding infraction, the officer will then become aware of your medical marijuana license. Which then can lead to a question of “are you on any medication?” If one answers for example, “yes, I have Glaucoma and I used marijuana yesterday morning for treatment purposes,” then one has just given the officer reason to suspect you are driving under the influence.
This is why one should be aware of their rights and always invoke them. See Traffic Stops and Your Rights.
If this does lead to one’s arrest for a DUI, then one will be giving a blood test to determine what one’s THC or Metabolite levels are for purposes of Nevada’s prohibited substance per se DUI.
If you have used marijuana legally and your blood has been tested, chances are you will fail the per se DUI/prohibited substance limit for marijuana or depending on the facts, will still lead prosecutors to pursue driving while impaired even if your levels are below the per se limits.
Nevada’s prohibitive substance levels for marijuana are extremely low:
- Marijuana per se limit is only 2 nanograms per milliliter of blood
- Marijuana metabolite is only 5 nanograms per milliliter of blood
As you can see, these levels are extremely low and place all legal users of marijuana at risk. Until the State takes are hard look at the science behind marijuana and impairment, which does not seem likely, chances are that most medical marijuana users are driving “under the influence” of marijuana and will fail a blood test.
Unfortunately, the scenario above is all too common. If you have questions or have been charged with a DUI contact The Law Offices of Garrett T. Ogata at 702-366-0891.