Five plaintiffs have joined together to file a lawsuit saying the federal government’s move to categorize marijuana as dangerous is one motivated by politics and has no bearing in fact or logic. According to an Associated Press news report, one of the plaintiffs is a 35-year-old army veteran who says marijuana helps him cope best with symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD, which has afflicted him after serving in Iraq. This veteran is now working to fight the federal government’s decision to criminalize marijuana.
Discrepancy Between State and Federal Laws
Currently in the United States, six states have legalized pot for recreational use. Medical marijuana is legal in 29 states and Washington D.C. While the Obama Administration had taken the approach of not strictly enforcing federal law, which still lists marijuana as a Schedule I drug with other illicit drugs like heroin and LSD.
However, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, an opponent of legalizing marijuana, reversed that Obama-era policy and has said strict enforcement of federal law in marijuana cases will start again. Among the plaintiffs in this lawsuit are former NFL player Marvin Washington, whose company sells hemp products for athletes. Two children under the age of 13 are also among the plaintiffs including a girl who takes the drug to cope with epilepsy and a young boy who uses it for a serious neurological condition.
Marijuana and Car Accidents
In Pennsylvania, while medical marijuana is legal, pot use for recreational purposes is not. Data with regard to drugged driving is scarce. And statistics involving marijuana can be even more challenging to find. A survey conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2014 determined that at least one in four drivers had one drug in their system that could have an impact on vehicle safety.
A subsequent survey looked into whether marijuana use by drivers is linked to a heightened risk of car accidents. The survey found that marijuana users are more likely to be involved in car accidents. But, officials say, this may be because those who use marijuana are young drivers who are already in a high-risk category when it comes to car accidents.
Regardless of whether Pennsylvania voters legalize marijuana for recreational use in the future, driving under the influence of any drug will continue to be illegal, not to mention, extremely dangerous. It is a well-known fact that marijuana is intoxicating even though its medical benefits are being debated and litigated. If you drive under the influence of marijuana, you can still be arrested.
Defense for those faced with DUI and Alcohol DUI
If you cause a crash while under the influence of pot, in addition to facing criminal charges, you can also be held liable for the injuries, damages and losses. In such cases, having an experienced Pennsylvania DUI attorney by their sides to help ensure the laws are enforced in your favor. An experienced Pennsylvania DUI lawyer will be able to better inform victims and their families regarding their legal rights and options.