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Criminal defense: Woman accused of smoking pot before fatal crash

Michigan residents in Lansing County may be interested in a case in another county that involves a 40-year-old woman who faces 15 years behind bars following a crash last December in which her mother was killed. The woman is accused of being impaired at the time of the accident because she had smoked marijuana 10 hours earlier. Her criminal defense team claims there is no reliable method yet to determine marijuana impairment.

Court documents show that the woman was traveling on an ice-covered road at a speed that was 20 mph slower than the speed limit. The defendant claims to have lost control on the ice, which had nothing to do with the fact that she had smoked marijuana many hours before the tragic accident. Her legal counsel asserts the trauma of losing her mother in that crash was enough punishment and claims the prosecution is overreaching in trying to prove she was impaired.

It is further argued that the equal protection clause of the Constitution is violated by the fact that individuals using medical marijuana are treated differently to those using recreational marijuana. In cases in which an alleged impaired driver used medical marijuana, proof of impairment is necessary. However, by merely showing the presence of marijuana in the system of a person who is a recreational user, a conviction for impaired driving can be obtained.

Reportedly, the Michigan State Police Forensic Science Division indicated in an email that an answer to determine the level of tetrahydrocannabinol -- the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana -- necessary to cause impairment had not been found yet. Any drivers who are facing impaired driving charges due to the alleged presence of marijuana may be wise to seek legal counsel. Being represented by an experienced criminal defense attorney may be the best way to achieve the best possible outcome.

Source: traverseticker.com, "Fighting A Felony, And Michigan Marijuana Laws", Beth Milligan, Aug. 29, 2017

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