Taking all of this evidence into account, Arizona‘s medical cannabis patients are now legally entitled to fight the DUI charges. According to the court opinion from Judge Diane M. Johnsen, Arizona law doesn’t set a legal level for THC intoxication.
And the mere presence of THC in a driver’s system doesn’t make them intoxicated by default. Therefore, the court concluded, it is fair to hear challenges from medical cannabis patients who believe police unfairly gave them a DUI.
So how does someone challenge a DUI under the new ruling? All they have to do is present evidence that they were not impaired while driving. The accused individual can do this by cross-examining the arresting officer. Drivers accused of DUIs for cannabis use can also hear testimony from forensic experts provided by the state.
All of this dates back to a 2013 arrest of Nadir Ishak. Ishak is a medical cannabis patient who was charged with a DUI after police pulled him over and noticed his bloodshot and glassy eyes. A judge later convicted Ishak for driving with marijuana in his system.
However, during his day in court, Ishak was prevented from presenting evidence that he was a registered, legal medical marijuana patient. Ishak’s case has since been thrown out. Thanks to the new ruling, other patients charged with DUI will be able to fight the charges against them.