DUI marijuana charges are expected to rise in the coming years, despite the legalization of medical marijuana treatments and recreational marijuana use. Unfounded suspicion and political agendas lead many innocent patients into the courtroom. If you use medical marijuana, it’s best to plan your defense now. Here are the most critical steps in proving your innocence.

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Establish Your Rights

If you take medical marijuana, then you have a right to use your medication. Gather all relevant documents and keep them in a safe place. This goes beyond your medical marijuana user identification. Collect your official prescription, any letters or other forms of communication regarding marijuana use from your doctor, and any receipts from marijuana-related purchases. Make sure you can provide a clear document trail for not only the marijuana itself but also any associated paraphernalia. Even though general marijuana use is now legal, it’s alway helpful to have your bases covered by keeping track of any documentation related to your marijuana use.

Establish Your Habits

This next step is more difficult but just as important. In order to prove in a court of law that you were not under the influence of medical marijuana while operating a vehicle, you must demonstrate your medical habits. Gather witnesses who have seen you take your medication. The more regular your habits, the easier this will be. Since prescription marijuana is only given in limited doses, you should keep track of every use. Mark the date and time on your calendar. You may already do something like this for treatment records or efficacy studies.

This tracking is important because of the lingering traces of marijuana that stay in your bloodstream. These may linger over a week after your dose, and current drug testing procedures show these as a positive sign that you are under the influence. You may be sober, but the blood test will indicate you are unfit to operate a vehicle. In order to combat this faulty system, you need a record of your medical marijuana use. The more evidence you have to substantiate your dosage schedule, the better.

Find a Great Attorney

Despite the fact that marijuana is a legal drug in New Jersey, there is still a significant bias against patients who use it. To combat this bias and the faulty drug testing system that is still in place, you will need a reasonable attorney. Don’t wait until you’re facing DUI marijuana charges. Keep the name and number of a reputable attorney on hand, so it’s ready when you need it. This ensures you get the legal help of your choice rather than a panicked, last-minute selection or a state-assigned aid.

Leon Matchin is a firm defender of medical marijuana users. You can learn more about his services at attorneyleonmatchin.com, or you can contact him directly by email at [email protected] or by phone at 732-887-2479. Keep this number on hand. You never know when the next routine traffic stop will lead to medical discrimination.