It’s never safe to drive a vehicle when you are under the influence of any drug that could impair your ability to make good decisions and respond quickly to road and traffic conditions. By its nature, marijuana is a substance that will impair your abilities, partly because it relaxes muscles and calms nerves. Just like with any other medication, you should be aware of your limitations when using marijuana treatments.
Florida DUI Law
Under Florida state law, it is possible to be charged with a marijuana DUI. A medical marijuana card does not entitle you to drive under the influence of any substance. It only allows you to possess and consume cannabis. You are still required to do so responsibly.
You could be charged with marijuana DUI based on suspicion, but proving the case could be more difficult. There is not a field test for marijuana like for alcohol, and other tests are not reliable. You could test positive for marijuana days after your buzz wears off.
Although new tests are in development, for now, the law relies on circumstantial evidence. If you appear to be impaired while you are driving, and the officer who pulls you over finds marijuana in your car, they can try to make the case. They will not have scientific evidence, however.
Florida Marijuana Law
The state is still working on developing guidelines to implement its new marijuana laws. Changes and clarifications can be expected in the coming months. In other states where medical marijuana is legal, specific guidelines about transporting your medical marijuana in your car are spelled out.
In some locations, medical marijuana possession is legal, but it must be transported in the trunk of your car in a secured container. In most states where smoking is prohibited in public places, your personal vehicle is considered a public space, and therefore, smoking medical marijuana in your car is not legal. We can expect some specific guidelines from the state of Florida in the coming months, but they are not likely to relax the DUI standards to exclude medical marijuana use.
Avoiding Legal Trouble
Medical marijuana is now legal in Florida, but it remains against federal law to produce, sell or consume the drug. This conundrum is for the legal system to work out. In the meantime, as a Florida resident, there are laws protecting your medical use of marijuana. It is a good idea to follow those laws strictly and avoid drawing attention to your possession and use of medical marijuana. Consume your marijuana treatment responsibly and reap its benefits.