Ahh, the wonders of marijuana. A medical master and the ultimate way to chill out, it’s no surprise this magic plant is the world’s most common illegal (mostly) drug. While many states, including ours, have legalized recreational usage of marijuana, it is still very much a controlled substance and there are still rules and laws users must abide by. But some people seem to be under the impression that as long as pot has any sort of positive influence on them, they’re somehow excused from those laws.
Well, no. They’re not. And you’re not. We’re learning more about weed every day as it becomes more widely accessible, but even the discovery of new possible benefits doesn’t negate the law that currently exists. If you find this out the hard way (read: drive stoned because you swear it makes you drive better), you’re going to be facing a helluva lot more than cotton mouth.
Additionally — and I cannot stress this enough — I promise you are not immune to looking stoned, no matter how much practice you have. Cops are looking for any and every possible sign, and if one actually exists, they will find it (and they may be wrong about a sign they think they see, but you still have to go to court and prove it) and they will charge you to the fullest extent of the law.
New research implies a new pro of pot usage
A bunch of scientists got really bored one night and decided to give fake weed to a bunch of tadpoles and see what happens. This may or may not be an oversimplified version of events, but the drugging of the baby frogs is indeed the truth. By performing a bunch of complicated tests and experiments on these stoner tadpoles, they were able to better study marijuana’s effect on vision and how it may help — or hurt — human sight.
Now, believe it or not, humans and tadpoles do work a bit differently, but the scientists’ findings still imply our species would react similarly to the drug. In this case, that reaction seems to actually be an increase in night vision, and a decrease in certain eye diseases like glaucoma. That’s right — no more carrots! If you want to see better at night, you can theoretically just light up some grass (no, it doesn’t actually work like that).
The benefits of marijuana do not negate the dangers of influenced driving
Put down the joint. Hey! Listen to me! This blog isn’t done yet! Put it DOWN, and step AWAY from your car keys!
Yes, that one finding does imply an added benefit to our vision with the usage of marijuana, but this is absolutely not an excuse to get behind the wheel — ESPECIALLY at night — while under the influence. Any influence is a bad influence when it comes to driving, and when it comes to the law. Multiple studies have found that marijuana has an overall negative effect on your ability to drive. Ironically, this is partially because of the ADVERSE effects it can have on your vision, namely your perception and clarity. Pair that with worsened coordination and a slower reaction time, it is clear that even someone who greatly benefits from the medicinal properties of marijuana still should never drive stoned.
I know what you’re saying. Drew, you’re the most handsome attorney ever. Drew, you’re so good at your job in every way. And after those objectively true statements, you’re then loudly asserting that you drive SO WELL when stoned, and it makes you BETTER and more careful. You’ve been doing it forever; everyone does it; it’s not as bad as alcohol.
Here’s the thing, though: you’re only right about the unfortunate frequency of stoned driving. It DOES indeed happen a lot, and now more than ever with such widespread legalization. In fact, since becoming recreationally legal in any state at all, stoned driving has gone up so much that fatal accidents involving it more than doubled (since before legalization). It’s the accidents part you really need to pay attention to. Every single person who has ever caused a fatal accident has been just as sure of their abilities as you are. It only takes one mistake to ruin or end a life, and since reckless driving like speeding has increased right alongside stoned driving, those mistakes are happening more often than ever.
So, yeah, it’s not technically as supremely deadly as drunk driving, but it’s still incredibly dangerous for ANY user to drive under the influence of marijuana. Yes, even you.
Cops really want to catch you driving stoned
Setting aside the possibly fatal consequences of stoned driving, it’s also illegal. You’re not wrong to associate DUIs with alcohol, but you are wrong if you assume that’s the only substance they cover. Driving under the influence of marijuana is so illegal you can’t even legally hotbox in your own parked vehicle. And not only can you indeed be charged with a DUI over it, but you also potentially face further criminal charges depending on how much weed you’re caught with. Either way, you’ll almost definitely have to show up in court (versus just having to pay a traffic fine) and risk a serious conviction that can land you behind bars and facing collateral consequences for life.
Now, we all know some cops can be a little more “law and order” than “serve and protect” if they think someone is guilty of a crime, and how they treat potentially stoned drivers is a great example of that. They know how common it is. They know how much they can theoretically charge you with and they really want to. That’s why even if stoned driving wasn’t uber-dangerous, it’s still just not worth the legal risk. Cops are staring at every move your pupils allegedly make and they have more training than you’d think that’s specifically meant to catch stoned drivers. While there is no officially reliable weed test like there is for alcohol, you can rest assured that a suspicious and/or malicious officer will put you through the wringer to try and get any evidence at all of your alleged crime.
Don’t argue with cops. Don’t fight them. Don’t try to tell them your side of the story. If you’re arrested for suspected stoned driving, regardless of its truth, do not tell the cops ANYTHING until you’ve spoken with an attorney. They want you convicted so they will try to make your situation seem as hopeless as possible, but no case is truly without options. A trustworthy Annapolis criminal defense attorney can fight your charges no matter the circumstance, from challenging the validity of the officer’s suspicions to fighting how they handled alleged evidence, and a fight like that is the only way you have a chance of beating your charges on any level at all.
You need a tenacious, innovative criminal defense attorney with years of experience fighting charges just like yours. You need my firm: Drew Cochran, Attorney at Law. I know how the law works and I know how they’re going to try to use it against you. You do not have to accept your fate on any level, whether the arresting cop has real evidence or not. If you’re in Annapolis or Ellicott City, you need to reach out to me ASAP or use my contact form so we can get started on your fight for freedom before it’s too late. This is not a chance you want to take.
Just remember — Keep Calm, Call Drew, and DON’T DRIVE STONED!