Cannabis Possession and DUI Laws in South Carolina

Drivers in South Carolina should know that cannabis and paraphernalia possession is still illegal under state law. State legislators have tried and failed to pass medical cannabis laws, and it doesn’t look like legalization will hit the Palmetto State anytime soon. Possession of cannabis or paraphernalia is a severe offense in South Carolina, and so is a cannabis DUI. This article will cover where the state law stands now if you are charged with possession of cannabis or a cannabis DUI.

 

Cannabis Possession in South Carolina

 

Possession of any cannabis is illegal in South Carolina and includes cannabis flower, edibles, tinctures, hash, concentrates, dabs, and oil vapes. Possession of any cannabis product that contains over 0.3% THC has serious consequences under the law.

If you’re found in possession of less than one ounce of cannabis flower or less than 10 grams of concentrate in South Carolina, you could be facing a misdemeanor, 30 days in jail, and a fine of $200. The penalties increase drastically with subsequent charges or larger amounts of cannabis product. Information courtesy of the National Association for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

 

 

South Carolina considers the possession of more than an ounce of cannabis or 10 grams of hash or concentrate as a felonious sale or trafficking. Jail time can range from the mandatory minimum of a year to 25 years, depending on the amount in possession and the number of previous offenses. Fines can range from $5,000 for less than 10 pounds to $200,000 if you drive a truckload of more than 10,000 pounds of cannabis.

 

Furthermore, the sale of cannabis to a minor or within a half-mile radius of a school, playground, or public park is a felony. The punishment for sale to a minor is up to 10 years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.

 

Needless to say, in a state that’s so unfriendly towards cannabis, it’s important to be informed so that you can keep yourself safe.

Drug Paraphernalia Laws in South Carolina

It’s not just cannabis possession that South Carolina drivers should be aware of. It’s paraphernalia too. Under state law, paraphernalia includes any device “used, designed for use, or intended for use” in consuming cannabis in any way. The law explicitly names many types of paraphernalia, including pipes, bongs, roach clips, and chillums. Possession of paraphernalia is a civil offense in South Carolina, punishable by a fine of up to $500.

 

What Happens if You Get a Cannabis DUI in South Carolina?

 

As you’ve probably guessed based on South Carolina’s cannabis laws as a whole, the penalties for a cannabis DUI are even stricter.

 

South Carolina doesn’t go easy on cannabis-induced impairment behind the wheel, no matter who you are. According to South Carolina laws, it’s illegal to drive under the influence of any substance that causes “impairment to the extent that the person’s faculties to drive a motor vehicle are materially and appreciably impaired.”

 

The penalties for drugged driving in South Carolina are severe. After the first offense, you could find yourself saddled with a fine of $400, 48 hours of jail time, 48 hours of community service, and obligatory attendance to an alcohol and drug safety action program. You’ll also find yourself facing fees, court dates, and potentially even insurance issues. The penalties for driving under the influence in South Carolina increase with subsequent offenses as well.

Because it is so difficult to measure cannabis intoxication, people who use cannabis in South Carolina need to be especially careful when it comes to driving. Even if you were not intoxicated at the time, a drug test that comes back as THC positive after a traffic stop could lead to a DUI conviction. These stringent laws and harsh penalties make it even more important for cannabis users to have a plan in place for dealing with potential legal issues.

 

How To Protect Against a Cannabis DUI Charge in South Carolina

 

It’s not just possession and paraphernalia that have severe consequences — a cannabis DUI arrest or cannabis DUI charge in South Carolina is a serious offense. Cannabis DUI charges disproportionately impact people without the financial resources to defend themselves and access legal defense. That is why it is crucial to consume responsibly, know the facts, and have a proactive legal plan.

 

Cannabis consumers must understand their rights as drivers. You deserve quality representation in the event of facing cannabis DUI or other cannabis charges. At reepher, we help cover these and related costs.

 

Cannabis laws in New Hampshire

New Hampshire implemented a medical cannabis program in 2013 and decriminalized cannabis possession in 2017. Although nearly three in four Granite State voters support legalizing cannabis, the New Hampshire Senate voted down a bill in April 2022 to make it legal for adults 21 or older to possess and grow small amounts of cannabis.

 

New Hampshire Medical Cannabis Program

 

The New Hampshire Therapeutic Cannabis Program (TCP) was established in 2013 with the passage of legislation that established exemptions from criminal penalties for the therapeutic use of cannabis for qualifying medical conditions. The TCP created a confidential registry list of qualifying patients, caregivers, and certifying medical providers. Registry ID cards allow patients and caregivers to purchase cannabis at one of the state’s licensed Alternative Treatment Centers (ATCs).

 

New Hampshire lawmakers decriminalized possession of small amounts of cannabis in New Hampshire in 2017. Three-fourths of an ounce or less of cannabis flower was reduced from a criminal misdemeanor to a civil violation punishable by a fine of $100. However, possession of over three-fourths of an ounce is still a misdemeanor and is punishable by one year in jail and a fine of up to $350.

 

The possession of larger amounts of cannabis is a felony crime and is considered an intent to sell. Punishment can range from three to seven years of incarceration and a fine of $25,000 to $300,000. Greater amounts of cannabis in possession and subsequent offenses carry more severe penalties.

 

New Hampshire laws and penalties for cannabis possession are summarized here. Information courtesy of the National Association for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

How Does New Hampshire Define a Cannabis DUI?

 

In New Hampshire, a person is guilty of a cannabis DUI if they operate a motor vehicle while in an intoxicated or drugged condition. The law specifies that a person is in an intoxicated condition when they are under the influence of alcohol, cannabis, a controlled substance, a drug, or any combination thereof.

 

If you are a medical cannabis patient or cannabis consumer in New Hampshire, it’s essential to know that cannabis impairs driving. The best advice is don’t drive high.

 

Furthermore, even if you last consumed cannabis days or even weeks ago, THC can show up positive on drug tests and be used against you in the event of a cannabis DUI charge. Unlike alcohol, there is no connection between a person’s present level of impairment and THC levels in the body.

 

Does Having a Medical Card Protect Me From a Cannabis DUI in New Hampshire?

 

No. Even if you have a TCP medical cannabis registry card, you can still get a cannabis DUI charge in New Hampshire.

 

New Hampshire law requires applicants for a qualifying patient registry identification card must sign an attestation that they will not be under the influence of therapeutic cannabis while operating a motor vehicle.

 

How To Protect Against a Cannabis DUI Charge in New Hampshire

 

A cannabis DUI arrest or cannabis DUI charge in New Hampshire is expensive, and the laws are constantly changing. Cannabis DUI charges disproportionately impact people without the financial resources to defend themselves and access legal defense. That is why it is crucial to consume responsibly, know the facts, and have a proactive legal plan.

 

Cannabis consumers must understand their rights as drivers. You deserve quality representation in the event of facing cannabis DUI charges. At reepher, we help cover these and related costs.

 

Considering that New Hampshire has no minimum THC threshold for a cannabis DUI conviction, cannabis consumers face severe risks if they drive with the slightest trace of THC in their system. If you’re a medical or recreational cannabis consumer concerned about potential DUI charges, consider what a reepher membership offers.

What to Do if Pulled Over with Cannabis in New Hampshire

New Hampshire lawmakers established a medical cannabis program in 2013 and decriminalized cannabis possession in 2017. However, despite the progressive cannabis laws of the granite state, a cannabis DUI arrest or charge is a serious offense with severe consequences. If you are driving with cannabis in your car or bloodstream, you must be prepared and know your rights under the law.

 

If Police Suspect Cannabis DUI in New Hampshire

 

Police need probable cause to pull a driver over for driving under the influence of cannabis, alcohol, or other substances in New Hampshire. Reasons for probable causes could include involvement in an accident, swerving, driving very slowly, or disobeying traffic signs.

 

Implied consent is the concept under New Hampshire law that by performing the act of driving, a driver automatically consents to a DUI inspection, including alcohol and drug testing. Refusal of a DUI inspection can be used against you in court if you are charged with a cannabis DUI.

 

What Happens in an NH Cannabis DUI Arrest?

 

If New Hampshire police suspect you are driving while impaired, they may call a specially trained officer called a drug recognition expert (DRE) to the scene. A DRE will interview the arresting officer and conduct a series of tests to detect a driver’s impairment, including:

  • Breath test
  • Psychophysical tests such as standing on one leg
  • Vital signs
  • Pupil size

The DRE uses the information collected to formulate an opinion on a category or categories of drugs that are causing a driver’s impairment. The DRE’s recommendation to the court is confirmed by blood test results.

 

Cannabis DUI Penalties in New Hampshire

 

A cannabis DUI conviction has serious consequences in New Hampshire, including criminal charges, fines, driver’s license suspensions, and jail time. Information courtesy of the National Association for the Reform of Marijuana Laws

NewHampshire_DUI_Penalties

In addition to the penalties under the law, expenses from a cannabis DUI can cost thousands to cover legal defense, car impound fees, and car insurance increases.

 

Can You Get a Cannabis DUI With a Medical Card in New Hampshire?

 

The New Hampshire legislature passed legislation in 2013 to implement a medical cannabis program called the Therapeutic Cannabis Program (TCP). The TCP established exemptions from criminal penalties for registered patients using cannabis therapeutically for qualifying medical conditions.

 

Cardholding medical cannabis patients in New Hampshire should know they can still be arrested and charged with a cannabis DUI. Even if your registration is valid and your doctor approves your cannabis consumption for a medical condition, cannabis impairs driving. New Hampshire law does not distinguish between recreational or medical cannabis consumption regarding DUI.

 

Furthermore, unlike blood alcohol which correlates with present impairment level, there is no way for cannabis drug tests to determine whether you consumed cannabis immediately before driving or from days or weeks ago. Medical cannabis patients should be aware that THC can remain detectable in the blood and urine long after consumption, for days or even weeks.

 

Driving With Cannabis in the Car in New Hampshire

 

If you have cannabis in your car and are pulled over, it’s best to know your rights and be prepared. New Hampshire decriminalized possession of small amounts of cannabis in 2017. Three-fourths of an ounce or less of cannabis flower is now a civil violation rather than a criminal misdemeanor. However, possession of larger amounts of cannabis is still a criminal offense and is punishable with jail time and fines.

 

Read our guide to learn more about cannabis laws in New Hampshire.

 

How To Protect Against a Cannabis DUI Charge in New Hampshire

 

A cannabis DUI arrest or cannabis DUI charge in New Hampshire is expensive, and the laws are constantly changing. Cannabis DUI charges disproportionately impact people without the financial resources to defend themselves and access legal defense. That is why it is crucial to consume responsibly, know the facts, and have a proactive legal plan.

Cannabis consumers must understand their rights as drivers. You deserve quality representation in the event of facing cannabis DUI charges. At reepher, we help cover these and related costs.

 

The Only Legal Way to Consume Cannabis in South Carolina

The dramatic variation of cannabis laws from state to state often leads to confusion about marijuana laws and their penalties. With so many states still strictly enforcing cannabis use and possession laws, staying informed, knowing your rights, and having a plan are essential. Read on to find out if there is a legal way to consume cannabis in South Carolina.

 

What Should a Cannabis Consumer Know About South Carolina Laws?

The most important thing anyone who consumes cannabis in South Carolina should know is that cannabis is still illegal in the Palmetto State. South Carolina has yet to legalize medical or adult-use cannabis, and cannabis users can get into legal trouble if caught with cannabis or suspected of being under the influence of cannabis while driving.

 

South Carolina is especially strict about cannabis use while operating a vehicle. The laws and practices surrounding cannabis DUI charges can be murky, and the penalties are severe. If you’re a cannabis user in South Carolina, you must stay informed about what a cannabis DUI is and how being charged with one can affect you.

 

What are the Penalties for Cannabis Charges in SC?

 

South Carolina still has severe penalties for anyone caught with cannabis products.

These penalties for cannabis possession increase with further offenses and larger amounts of cannabis products. The penalties for driving under the influence of cannabis and a subsequent cannabis DUI offense are even stricter. For cannabis users who live in states like South Carolina that are unfriendly towards cannabis, it’s essential to be as informed and prepared as possible.

 

Is Cannabis Consumption Legal in South Carolina?

 

Unfortunately, no. South Carolina still considers cannabis a controlled substance, meaning it is not legal to grow, sell, possess, or use high-THC cannabis products anywhere in the state. There are no exceptions for medical patients, despite some recent attempts at cannabis policy reform.

 

There are technically some legal ways to consume cannabis in South Carolina, though. CBD comes from the hemp plant and is considered a cannabis product. CBD is widely available to the public in South Carolina in many forms, from vaporizers to infused foods and drinks. To be legal in South Carolina and on the federal level, this CBD must be derived from hemp instead of marijuana and contain less than 0.3% THC.

 

Is THC-Positive CBD Legal in South Carolina?

 

Even though medical marijuana is illegal in South Carolina, patients with certain medical conditions can access more potent forms of CBD to bolster their treatments.

Patients with severe epilepsy that has not responded to traditional treatments are eligible for medical benefits in the form of high-potency CBD. With documentation from a doctor, patients with Lennox Gastaut Syndrome, Dravet Syndrome, or another type of severe epilepsy are permitted to possess and use cannabis products that contain up to 0.9% THC and at least 15% CBD. These patients are not required to carry any documentation with them, though it’s always better to have it on hand if necessary, given South Carolina’s unfriendly stance towards cannabis.

 

How Can You Protect Yourself in SC?

 

Whether you’re a regular cannabis user, a medical patient who uses CBD with a higher level of THC, or just someone who wants to protect themselves in the event of a cannabis charge in South Carolina, you can never be too prepared.

Reepher offers coverage in the event of cannabis charges in South Carolina, helping you with every part of your legal defense. If you’re a cannabis consumer concerned about potential cannabis possession, paraphernalia or DUI charges, consider what a reepher membership offers.

 

 

 

What to Do if Pulled Over with Cannabis in South Carolina

Getting pulled over with cannabis in South Carolina can be a stressful experience with severe consequences. If you consume cannabis, you will want to know the facts and be prepared.

 

What Should You Do if You Are Pulled Over in South Carolina?

 

The first thing to remember if the police pull you over is to remain calm. Use your turn signal, and pull your vehicle to a safe location on the right side of the road. Follow the officer’s instructions, answer questions, and provide the requested documents.

 

Will a Medical Cannabis Card From Another State Protect Me From Cannabis DUI or Possession Charges in South Carolina?

 

No, holding a medical cannabis card from another state will not protect you from cannabis DUI or cannabis possession charges in South Carolina.

Cannabis is still federally illegal, and each state’s laws are different. There is no reciprocity between states for medical cannabis cardholders.

A medical cannabis card in any state will not protect you from being charged or convicted of a cannabis DUI. In fact, you can be considered impaired for DUI purposes if you take any drug, including medications prescribed by your doctor, over-the-counter medications, illegal drugs, alcohol, or any combination.

 

What Are Implied Consent Laws in South Carolina?

 

Every state, including South Carolina, has implied consent laws. Implied consent laws state that any person driving in the state is considered to have given consent for testing of breath, blood, or urine to determine DUI.

 

If a driver refuses to submit to drug and alcohol testing in South Carolina, they face an automatic 90-day driver’s license suspension. If they have a prior alcohol-related conviction or suspension in the past 10 years, they face a 180-day suspension. Refusal could be used against a driver in court if they are charged with a cannabis DUI.

 

What if Police Suspect You Are Driving Under the Influence of Cannabis in South Carolina?

 

South Carolina police need probable cause to pull you over for driving under the influence. Probable causes could include involvement in an accident, erratic driving, swerving, or disobeying traffic signs.

 

In addition to blood, urine or saliva drug testing for cannabis, alcohol, or other drugs, police can inspect a driver for DUI using multiple tests, including:

  • Breathalyzer tests to determine blood alcohol content (BAC)
  • Horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) test, which involves following a moving object with your eye while the officer checks for eye movement patterns that may indicate impairment
  • Physical tests such as walking in a straight line or standing on one leg

 

What Are the Penalties for Cannabis Possession in South Carolina?

 

South Carolina has serious penalties for cannabis and paraphernalia possession. There is currently no medical cannabis program in South Carolina. Possession of less than one ounce of cannabis flower or less than 10 grams of concentrate is a misdemeanor, punishable by 30 days in jail and a $200 fine. The penalties increase with subsequent charges or larger amounts in possession.

 

Make sure you remove paraphernalia from your car while driving through South Carolina. Paraphernalia possession includes any device used or designed for use in consuming cannabis in any way. “Paraphernalia” includes pipes, bongs, roach clips, and chillums. Possession of paraphernalia is a civil offense in South Carolina, punishable by a fine of up to $500.

 

Are DUI Checkpoints Legal in South Carolina?

 

South Carolina law allows police to conduct DUI checkpoints as long as they meet the following requirements:

  • Police must stop cars in a predictable pattern.
  • The site must be safe and identifiable.
  • The stops must be brief.
  • The checkpoint must be effective and serve the public’s interest.
  • Law enforcement must have a valid reason for the checkpoint, such as an increased DUI rate in the area.
  • Supervisory approval is needed.
  • Law enforcement must publicize the checkpoint.

 

What Happens to Your Vehicle in a Cannabis DUI in South Carolina?

 

If you are arrested for a cannabis DUI in South Carolina, your car can be impounded by police to clear the road. Police can also search it for evidence. If your vehicle is impounded, it will be towed to an impound lot. You will have to pay impound fees plus towing costs to get it back. Getting your vehicle out of impound as soon as possible is best because more fees accrue the longer it is held. Impound fees and towing expenses can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars.

 

How To Protect Against a Cannabis DUI Charge in South Carolina

 

A cannabis DUI arrest or cannabis DUI charge in South Carolina is expensive, and the laws are constantly changing. Cannabis DUI charges disproportionately impact people without the financial resources to defend themselves and access legal defense. That is why it is crucial to consume responsibly, know the facts, and have a proactive legal plan.

 

Cannabis consumers must understand their rights as drivers. You deserve quality representation in the event of facing cannabis DUI charges. At reepher, we help cover these and related costs.

What To Do if Pulled Over With Cannabis in Georgia

If you are pulled over by police while driving in Georgia, you first must use your turn signal and pull your car over to a safe location. Follow the officer’s instructions, stay calm, answer questions, and provide the requested documents.

 

In Georgia, Cannabis DUI is a serious offense, and the repercussions are severe. Furthermore, Georgia’s cannabis laws are restrictive compared to many other states. If you are driving with cannabis, knowing your rights under the law and being prepared is essential.

Georgia’s Cannabis Laws

 

You cannot grow, sell, or possess cannabis flower in Georgia. Any inhalation, vaping, or smoking of cannabis is illegal, and food products infused with THC are prohibited.

 

The only legal cannabis possession allowed is through Georgia’s medical cannabis program, which helps people with certain health conditions apply for a Low-THC Oil Registry Card. Registered Georgia medical cannabis patients are allowed to possess low-THC oil if they meet the following requirements:

  • The maximum low-THC oil (less than 5% THC) allowed in a medical cannabis patient’s possession is 20 fluid ounces or less. The amount of CBD must be at least equal to THC.
  • A registered cardholder or caregiver must have their registration card in their possession.
  • The cardholder must store the low-THC oil in a labeled pharmaceutical container.

 

However, the law in Georgia is still evolving. Because Georgia has not yet issued dispensing or production licenses, there is no legal way for cardholders to purchase low-THC cannabis oil in Georgia. The result of this incomplete medical cannabis program is that cardholders are in a confusing grey area where they can legally possess, but not legally purchase, low-THC oil. Regardless of whether you have a medical cannabis card in Georgia, you can still get a cannabis DUI charge.

 

If Police Suspect Cannabis DUI in Georgia

 

Police will need probable cause to pull you over for driving under the influence of alcohol, cannabis, or other substances. Probable causes could include involvement in an accident, swerving, parking in the middle of the road, or disobeying traffic signs.

 

Implied consent is the concept under the law that by performing the act of driving, a driver automatically consents to a DUI inspection, including alcohol and THC testing. If a driver refuses a DUI inspection, it could be used against them in court if they are charged with a cannabis DUI.

 

Police inspection for DUI can involve multiple tests, including:

  • Breathalyzer test for alcohol to determine blood alcohol content (BAC)
  • Horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) test, which involves following a moving object with your eye where the officer checks for eye movement patterns that may indicate impairment
  • Physical tests such as walking in a straight line or standing on one leg
  • Blood, urine or saliva testing for alcohol, cannabis, or other drugs

 

Cannabis blood or urine tests seek THC or THC metabolites. Unlike alcohol, cannabis drug tests do not accurately predict the level of current impairment. Results depend on how long ago you consumed cannabis, how much cannabis you consumed, and individual differences in how fast cannabis passes through your system.

 

Georgia uses specially trained police officers called Drug Recognition Experts (DREs) to determine impairment, and sometimes officers will call a DRE to the scene. DREs complete a 240-hour training with the Georgia Public Safety Training Center. Their training teaches them to recognize impairment through physiological, mental, and physical evaluations.

 

Georgia police can conduct DUI checkpoints if they meet specific requirements. They must be approved in advance, clearly marked, and minimize traffic disruptions. Random checks are not allowed under the law, so police at a Georgia DUI checkpoint must check every driver that passes through.

How To Protect Against a Cannabis DUI Charge in Georgia

 

A cannabis DUI arrest or cannabis DUI charge in Georgia is expensive, and the laws are constantly changing. Cannabis DUI charges disproportionately impact people without the financial resources to defend themselves and access legal defense. That is why it is crucial to consume responsibly, know the facts, and have a proactive legal plan.

Cannabis consumers must understand their rights as drivers. You deserve quality representation in the event of facing cannabis DUI charges. At reepher, we help cover these and related costs.

Cannabis DUI Laws in Georgia

A cannabis DUI in Georgia is a serious offense with severe consequences. If you are a cannabis consumer in Georgia, here is everything you need to know about cannabis DUI.

 

Cannabis Consumption in Georgia — Where the Law Stands Now

 

Georgia’s cannabis laws are extremely limiting compared to some other states. It is still illegal in Georgia to grow, sell, or possess cannabis in plant or flower form. Inhalation, vaping, or smoking cannabis is not permitted. Furthermore, the sale, production, or ingestion of food products infused with THC oil is prohibited.

 

Medical cannabis patients and caregivers in Georgia with specific health conditions can apply for a Low-THC Oil Registry Card with their physician. They are issued a card and allowed to possess low-THC oil for medicinal purposes if approved.

 

The following components must be present for lawful possession of low-THC oil in Georgia:

  1. The total amount of low-THC oil must be 20 fluid ounces or less. Low THC oil is defined in Georgia as no more than 5% THC, and it must contain CBD in an amount at least equal to the THC.
  2. The person has their Georgia medical cannabis registration card in possession. For patients under 18 years of age, a parent or guardian must possess a card designating them as the patient’s caregiver.
  3. The low-THC oil must be in a pharmaceutical container labeled by the manufacturer that indicates the percentage of THC.

 

However, because no legal sales exist in Georgia, medical cannabis cardholders are left in limbo. Cannabis possession is decriminalized for qualified individuals, but the Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission has yet to issue any dispensing or production licenses. Accordingly, there is no legal way to purchase low-THC oil in the state.

 

Furthermore, medical patients should know that a registry card doesn’t change Georgia cannabis DUI laws or penalties when it comes to driving.

 

Penalties and Repercussions of Cannabis DUI in Georgia

 

A cannabis DUI in Georgia is a serious offense with severe repercussions, including fines, jail time, community service, probation, driver’s license suspension, and more. Georgia has a zero-tolerance policy for drugged driving under the influence of cannabis, cannabis metabolites, or other controlled substances.

Fines include fees and assessments which can add 20% to 30% to the amount due. The court also requires DUI offenders to participate in a drug and alcohol risk-reduction program, which costs $175, plus an assessment fee of $75 to be paid by the offender.

 

For repeat offenders, penalties get more severe — and expensive. Starting with the second offense, a photo of the offender will be published in the local newspaper with their name and home address. A judge may also order an ignition interlock device installed on a repeat offender’s car. On the fourth offense, an offender’s vehicle is subject to seizure.

 

How To Protect Against a Cannabis DUI Charge in Georgia

 

A cannabis DUI arrest or cannabis DUI charge in Georgia is expensive, and the penalties are severe. Cannabis DUI charges disproportionately impact people without the financial resources to defend themselves and access legal defense. That is why it is crucial to consume responsibly, know the facts, and have a proactive legal plan.

 

Cannabis consumers must understand their rights as drivers. You deserve quality representation in the event of facing cannabis DUI charges. At reepher, we help cover these and related costs.

Given that Georgia has no minimum THC threshold for a cannabis DUI conviction, even medical cannabis consumers face severe risks if they drive without the slightest THC in their system. If you are a cannabis consumer concerned about potential DUI charges, consider what a reepher membership offers.

Cannabis DUI in Oregon

Oregon passed adult-use cannabis laws in 2015, and since then, Oregon has grown a reputation for drug-friendliness. It’s the first state to legalize psychedelic mushrooms while also decriminalizing possession of other drugs like heroin and cocaine. But there is nothing lenient about Oregon laws regarding a cannabis DUI (driving under the influence).

A cannabis DUI charge is a serious offense in Oregon. The best advice for responsible users? Don’t drive high.

In Oregon, a person is guilty of a cannabis DUI if they operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicating controlled substance, alcohol, or a combination.

Even medical cannabis patients in Oregon can face a cannabis DUI arrest. People who think they are doing everything right can still end up on the wrong side of the criminal justice system, so it is vital to know the facts and be prepared.

Here is a closer look at some considerations and potential consequences of driving in Oregon with cannabis in your system.

 

Drug Testing Drivers for THC in Oregon

 

Oregon implied consent law states that when operating a motor vehicle, drivers automatically consent to a drug or alcohol test, including Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta-9 THC). Police can require a THC test if they have probable cause to believe a driver is operating a motor vehicle under the influence or if they are involved in a major auto accident. However, unlike in some states, in Oregon, sobriety checkpoints are not allowed under the state Constitution.

 

Refusal to take a drug test in Oregon after a police officer requests it is punishable by a fine between $500 and $1,000. Evidence of refusal to take a drug test can be admissible in court in a cannabis DUI prosecution.

 

THC Stays in Your System

 

Unlike alcohol, which is detectable in your system for hours, THC lingers in a person’s system well after you consume cannabis, even for days or weeks. There is no reliable test to determine whether THC in your body corresponds with cannabis consumption that took place minutes before driving, or from days before, and there is no breathalyzer test for cannabis, THC, or THC metabolites.

THC blood tests can come up positive for days or weeks after consuming cannabis. In THC urine tests, cannabis consumption is detectable for even longer; positive results can come up for weeks or even more than a month.

How “high” you feel is not a good indicator of whether you will test positive on cannabis drug tests. Urine drug tests for THC detect a breakdown product called THC-COOH — not cannabis directly — and the tests do not measure impairment from cannabis.

Similarly, the blood level of cannabis does not directly correlate to the current level of intoxication. The effects of THC are cumulative over time, so if you consume cannabis more regularly, you are more likely to test positive for THC.

In Oregon, police are more likely to collect urine samples from drivers to test for cannabis. Blood samples are more expensive and usually only collected in major accidents.

 

How Do Police Determine A Cannabis DUI in Oregon?

 

Some states, such as Colorado and Washington, have legal minimum THC thresholds for a cannabis DUI conviction, but Oregon does not. Unlike alcohol, there is no specific THC limit for drivers in Oregon.

 

All Oregon officers are trained in recognizing signs of driver impairment, but a smaller group of specialized Oregon police officers complete training to become drug recognition experts (DREs). A DRE will be called to perform a drug influence evaluation if another police officer suspects impairment.

 

Does Having a Medical Card Protect Me From a Cannabis DUI in Oregon?

 

Oregon state law allows for adult use (recreational) and medical cannabis. However, the law specifically states that even if you have a medical cannabis card in Oregon, you can still get a cannabis DUI for driving under the influence.

 

THC levels are still detectable days or even weeks after consumption, and they do not measure the level of impairment. Therefore, medical cannabis patients in Oregon need to be informed and seek protection.

 

What are the possible legal and financial repercussions of DUI with cannabis in Oregon?

 

The penalties in Oregon for a cannabis DUI are serious and can include fines, community service, license suspension, and jail time.

Legal defense for cannabis DUI charges can cost thousands of dollars. Other expenses can quickly add up for cannabis DUI charges, including incidental expenses such as car impound fees.

 

Cannabis charges disproportionately impact people without the financial resources to defend themselves and access legal defense. That is why it is important for cannabis consumers to know the facts and create a proactive plan for legal support.

 

How To Protect Against a Cannabis DUI Charge in Oregon

 

A cannabis DUI arrest or cannabis DUI charge in Oregon is expensive, and the laws are constantly changing. Cannabis DUI charges disproportionately impact people without the financial resources to defend themselves and access legal defense. That is why it is important to consume responsibly, know the facts, and have a proactive legal plan.

 

It is imperative for cannabis consumers to understand their rights as drivers. You deserve quality representation in the event of facing cannabis DUI charges. At reepher, we help cover these and related costs.

Considering Oregon has no minimum THC threshold for a cannabis DUI conviction, cannabis consumers face serious risks if they drive with the slightest trace of THC in their system. If you’re a medical or recreational cannabis consumer concerned about potential DUI charges, consider what a reepher membership has to offer.

What To Do if You Are Pulled Over With Cannabis in Missouri

If you drive in Missouri with cannabis in your car, you may have questions about what happens if you are pulled over by the police. Getting pulled over with cannabis in your car can potentially lead to serious consequences, even for medical cannabis patients who think they are doing everything right within the law.

 

What Should You Do if You Are Pulled Over?

 

If you are pulled over by police, remain calm, use your turn signal, and pull your vehicle to a safe location on the right side of the road. Follow the officer’s instructions, stay calm, answer questions, and provide the requested documents.

 

What Happens if You Have a Medical Cannabis Card and Are Pulled Over in Missouri?

 

If you have a medical cannabis card in Missouri, you must have it with you if you are in possession of cannabis. For Missouri medical cannabis patients, the laws for cannabis possession are as follows:

  • Medical cannabis patients who do not cultivate or have cannabis cultivated on their behalf may be in possession of up to a 60-day supply (or eight ounces) of dried unprocessed cannabis or its equivalent.
  • Medical cannabis patients who are cultivating cannabis for medical use, or their caregivers are cultivating on their behalf, may be in possession of up to a 90-day supply (or 12 ounces) of dried unprocessed cannabis or its equivalent. The cannabis that is cultivated must stay on the property and be in the patient’s or caregiver’s control.

 

What if Police Suspect You Are Driving Under the Influence of Cannabis?

 

According to Missouri implied consent law, when operating a motor vehicle drivers automatically consent to a Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) test if arrested. Police can require a driver to take a THC test if there are reasonable grounds to believe they are operating a motor vehicle under the influence, or if they are involved in a major auto accident.

If a driver in Missouri refuses to take a drug test after a police officer requests it, they can be legally forced to do so through a warrant. Refusal to take a test has immediate consequences, such as automatic license revocation for one year. Evidence of refusal to take a drug test can be admissible in court in a cannabis DUI prosecution.

Unlike searching a residence, police do not need a warrant to search your vehicle if they have a reason to suspect you have been consuming cannabis, such as smelling cannabis in your car.

 

Can You Get a Cannabis DUI if You Are a Medical Cannabis Patient in Missouri?

 

According to the state of Missouri, a medical cannabis card “does not offer individuals protection from violating laws pertaining to operating a motorized vehicle while under the influence. Nothing in Article XIV permits a person to operate, navigate, or be in actual physical control of any dangerous device or motor vehicle, aircraft, or motorboat while under the influence of marijuana.” Therefore, even if you have a medical cannabis patient card in Missouri, you can still be charged with a cannabis DUI.

 

What Are the Penalties for Cannabis Possession in Missouri?

 

Cannabis possession is still illegal in Missouri, except for qualified medical cannabis patients. The penalties for cannabis possession in Missouri are as follows:

  • For up to 10 grams on the first offense, the penalty is a misdemeanor and a maximum fine of $500.
  • For up to 10 grams on the second offense, the penalty is a misdemeanor, up to one year in jail, and a maximum fine of $2,000.
  • For 10 to 35 grams, the penalty is a misdemeanor, up to one year in jail, and a maximum fine of $2,000.
  • For more than 35 grams up to 30 kilograms, the penalty is a felony, up to seven years in jail, and a maximum fine of $10,000.

 

What About Getting Pulled Over With Cannabis in Columbia, Kansas City, and St. Louis?

 

A few of Missouri’s major cities introduced cannabis ordinances before statewide 2014 cannabis reforms.

  • Columbia

Starting in 2004, Columbia police can no longer arrest first-time offenders with less than 35 grams for cannabis possession. These offenders would face a fine instead of up to $300.

  • Kansas City

Starting in 2017, Kansas City reduced its fine to $25 for first-time cannabis possession of fewer than 25 grams. Then in 2020, Kansas City eliminated this first-time fine.

  • St. Louis

Starting in 2013, St. Louis police can no longer arrest first-time offenders with less than 35 grams for cannabis possession. These offenders would face a fine instead of up to $300.

 

How To Protect Against a Cannabis DUI Charge in Missouri

 

A cannabis DUI arrest or cannabis DUI charge in Missouri is expensive, and the laws are constantly changing. Cannabis DUI charges disproportionately impact people without the financial resources to defend themselves and access legal defense. That is why it is important to consume responsibly, know the facts, and have a proactive legal plan.

It is imperative for cannabis consumers to understand their rights as drivers. You deserve quality representation in the event of facing cannabis DUI charges. At reepher, we help cover these and related costs.

Does a Medical Card Protect Against a Cannabis DUI in Missouri?

Missouri_Capital

When people think about a DUI in Missouri, they are usually referring to alcohol. But any drug that causes impairment, including over-the-counter and prescribed medications, can lead to a DUI charge. This includes medical cannabis, even if you have a valid medical cannabis patient card in Missouri.

Missouri legalized medical cannabis in 2018, and there are currently over 175,000 active medical cannabis patients in the state. Many people with medical cannabis cards in Missouri think they are doing everything right within the law, but they can still be charged with a cannabis DUI.

 

Can I Get a Cannabis DUI With a Medical Card in Missouri?

 

Yes! Even if you have a medical cannabis card in Missouri, you can still be charged with a cannabis DUI.

According to the state of Missouri, a medical cannabis card “does not offer individuals protection from violating laws pertaining to operating a motorized vehicle while under the influence. Nothing in Article XIV permits a person to operate, navigate, or be in actual physical control of any dangerous device or motor vehicle, aircraft, or motorboat while under the influence of marijuana.”

Medical cannabis laws in Missouri only allow for medical cannabis consumption and not recreational use. However, having a medical card in Missouri does not prevent a driver from being charged with a cannabis DUI.

 

How is a Cannabis DUI Defined in Missouri?

 

A cannabis DUI is a serious offense in Missouri. In Missouri, a person is guilty of a cannabis DUI if they operate a motor vehicle while in an intoxicated or drugged condition.

If police suspect a driver is impaired, they have the right to require a cannabis drug test. The police may also seek a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE), a specially trained police officer who checks the driver’s vision, balance, pupil dilation, heart rate, and other signs to determine impairment.

Unlike with alcohol DUI charges, there is no legal limit for THC in the bloodstream for drivers in Missouri. Since THC metabolites can linger for days, weeks, or even months after consuming cannabis, drivers could be charged with a cannabis DUI based on the THC in their system from prior medical cannabis consumption, even if they do not feel “high” while driving.

Any kind of medical cannabis can lead to detectable THC in the blood or urine which could lead to a cannabis DUI. This could include flower, vape, edibles, topicals, tinctures, and more.

 

How To Protect Against a Cannabis DUI Charge in Missouri

 

The percentage of motor vehicle fatalities involving cannabis in the United States has more than doubled from 9% to about 22% between 2000 and 2018, while fatalities involving alcohol remained stable during the same time frame. The most important part of protecting against a cannabis DUI is to consume responsibly and don’t drive high.

It is important for medical cannabis patients in Missouri to know that if you have a medical cannabis card in the state program, you could still be charged with a cannabis DUI.

A cannabis DUI charge in Missouri is expensive. Cannabis DUI charges disproportionately impact people without the financial resources to defend themselves and access quality legal defense. That is why it is important to consume responsibly, know the facts, and have a proactive legal plan. You deserve quality representation in the event of facing cannabis DUI charges. At reepher, we help cover these and related costs.

Considering that Missouri has no minimum THC threshold for a cannabis DUI conviction, cannabis consumers face serious risks if they drive with the slightest trace of THC in their system. If you’re a medical or recreational cannabis consumer concerned about potential DUI charges, consider what a reepher membership has to offer.