As a medical marijuana user, you should expect police to begin handing out more DUIs for marijuana, especially as multiple states start regulating the use of medical marijuana. Because marijuana does not leave the body at the same rate as alcohol, consistent marijuana users that drive daily are at a higher risk of receiving a DUI. Being a medical marijuana user is not illegal, but can still warrant some unwanted attention from law enforcement. Thankfully, there are few ways to protect yourself as a medical marijuana user.
Make a Folder
If you’re a regular medical marijuana user, get your medical records together. Create a list of your treating physicians, their addresses, and phone number, as well as a list of your prescriptions and doses. If needed, your pharmacy can print out a prescription history. It is also advisable to get a statement of your disability or condition from your physician. Most importantly, always have your medical marijuana card on hand.
Having a folder with all of this information available will save your reputation. Doctors and pharmacies cannot hand out this information at the exact moment you need it. A copy of your driver’s license, registration and insurance records also need to be in the folder.
You can still run into legal trouble even if you’re a registered marijuana user and a doctor prescribes your cannabis. Currently, the federal law is still in conflict with state laws on the issue of medical marijuana. However, it’s possible to avoid unnecessary issues by following the rules. Here are some rules you will want to follow closely:
- Always obey no-smoking regulations.
- Never use marijuana with driving or in a car.
- Do not draw attention to yourself if you use marijuana therapy.
- Avoid property searches.
- Know how to handle search warrants.
- Limit casual conversation with police officers.
Know Your Patient Rights
First and foremost, your medical marijuana card is not a get-out-of-jail-free card. As a medical marijuana patient, it’s your responsibly to know and exercise your rights. Here are some things to know about your patient rights and how to keep them active:
- Following doctor’s instruction for treatment will keep the medical community on your side.
- Maintain your registration in the marijuana database.
- Always carry your marijuana card with you.
- Know the laws in every state, especially if you travel.
- Keep your family and employer informed about your status as a medical marijuana patient.
- When confronted with legal issues, remain calm and polite.
- Treat your cannabis like any other prescription drug.
Establish a Relationship with an Attorney
As a medical marijuana patient, it’s imperative that you form a relationship with a local attorney who has experience with the matter. In addition to this, you want to set up an initial consultation. At this consultation, you should expect to discuss your status as a marijuana user so the attorney can provide guidance on how to avoid unnecessary issues. You’ll also know who to call if a legal problem arises. Leon Matchin is an experienced attorney who handles cases on criminal backgrounds, DUIs, traffic violations and more. For legal advice or to retain him as your attorney, call 732-887-2479 or email him directly at [email protected].