When You Can And Can't Be Pulled Over For Marijuana Possession And Consumption

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When You Can And Can't Be Pulled Over For Marijuana Possession And Consumption

12 September 2016
 Categories: , Blog


The legal status of marijuana has become quite varied, with some states completely banning the substance, some states allowing medical marijuana, and a few allowing for the complete legalization of marijuana. Marijuana that was purchased legally in one state may lead to serious criminal penalties in another state. If you are pulled over by a patrol officer, he or he needs probable cause. In other words, he or she must believe that a crime was committed and the searching of your vehicle would be necessary to demonstrate this. If you are pulled over with a suspicion that you possess marijuana or were driving under the influence, there are some cases where the officer is justified and other cases where your rights may have been violated.

You Cannot Be Pulled Over Because Of Your State Of Origin

In a recent case: Vasquez v. Lewis, the courts have ruled that the police cannot pull over a motorist simply because he or she has come from a state where marijuana is legal as this constitutes a violation of the motorist's fourth amendment rights. Therefore, if the only justification for having your vehicle pulled over was your state of origin, you may be able to have the charges dropped. 

You Can Be Pulled Over For Driving Erratically

Even if you are technically obeying the law, patrol officers have the right to pull you over if they suspect that you are under the influence of marijuana or alcohol. Once you have been pulled over, whether you are considered under the influence can very from state-to-state. In a small number of states, you will simply be considered under the influence based on your actions. For example, if you were drifting into another lane and it is verified that you have any amount of marijuana in your system, this can be used as evidence that you were driving under the influence.

In other states, you must be tested for how much marijuana is in your system. Some states base it off the specific quantity of marijuana, while other states base it off the percentage of marijuana in your blood.

If you are not sure if your rights have been violated following a DWI case, it is a good idea to contact a DWI attorney. He or she will be able to examine the facts of your case and will be able to use these facts to determine how you can fight to have your charges dropped. 

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