Licensed in Pennsylvania and New Jersey
CBD in Pennsylvania and Drug DUIs CBD vs. THC
We want to provide our readers the relevant and current information on the hottest legal topics in the area of drunk driving, drugs, and gun crimes in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. One of the hottest topics in PA right now is medical marijuana, specifically CBD oil. We have received a number of questions about this drug and impaired driving in the Commonwealth. CBD has been shown to improve a wide variety of medical conditions, ranging frommental to physical health, including epilepsy and certain anxiety disorders. It’s also able to relieve pain symptoms due to its anti-inflammatory properties. However, it remains a prohibited substance in the NCAA, along withmost professional sports associations (MLB, NHL, NFL, NBA). The Difference Between CBD and THC Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the main cannabinoids found in the marijuana plant, which is extracted from the plant without the chemical compound Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which delivers the “high” from marijuana (a Schedule I controlled substance). THC, unlike CBD, produces the “high” effect, which ultimately causes impairment. Driving while impaired is grounds for driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated
(DWI) in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. This topic is also discussed extensively in my free book, “5 Ways to Fight &Win Your Pennsylvania DUI Case.”
Pennsylvania’s Controlled Substance, Drug, Device, and Cosmetic Act (Title 35) specifically lists cannabinoids as a controlled substance in Pennsylvania. Further, Section 3802(d) (1) makes it a crime in Pennsylvania for any person to drive or operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of any controlled substance, which would include CBD. This means that if this drug is found in a person’s blood following an arrest, it could lead to a conviction for DUI within the Commonwealth. While the prosecution would still need to establish the impairment beyond a reasonable doubt, it could meet this burden through the police officer’s testimony regarding the person’s physical presentation. CBD Doesn’t Cause Impairment, But It Is Still a Drug If you are arrested for a drug DUI under Section 3802, it’s important that your criminal defense lawyer understands any of your prescription medications, including medical marijuana, as it could influence the outcome of your case. If you are on prescription marijuana such as CBD, it’s important that your attorney draw to the court’s attention the fact that CBD does not have an intoxicating effect due to its lack of THC. If the prosecution does not stipulate this evidence, there will more than likely need to be an expert witness called for the defense, as the results of a blood test could indicate the presence of marijuana, since CBD is a derivative of the plant. For more information on drug DUIs and medical marijuana, I encourage you to read my other articles on these topics, found at www.GamboneLaw.com. –Alfonso Gambone
CBD and Medical Marijuana in Pennsylvania
CBD falls under Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana law, which allows individuals to obtain the drug provided that they meet certain pre-existing health conditions. While CBD does not produce any intoxicating effects, it is nevertheless derived from the marijuana plant. In Pennsylvania, marijuana is still considered a Schedule I controlled substance. Drug DUI – Section 3802(d) In Pennsylvania, a person is guilty of a drug DUI under Section 3802(d) if they are operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or the combination of drugs or alcohol. Under subsection (d)(1), the prosecution doesn’t need to establish any specific amount (nanograms); they just need to establish that the person was under the influence of drugs through direct or indirect evidence. While a blood test can reveal the presence of a drug (legal or illegal) or alcohol, it’s important to understand that a
person can still commit a DUI under Section 3802(d) even if the drug is legally prescribed. Drug DUI Includes Legally Prescribed Drugs! Many people believe that they only commit a drug DUI if they are under the influence of an illegal drug. It’s important to understand that this law applies to over-the- counter legal substances, such as Benadryl and medical marijuana, if the person ingested it prior to operating a motor vehicle.
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