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PA Medical Marijuana & DUI

Pennsylvania is now one of twenty four (24) states to legalize medical marijuana.  Just yesterday Governor Tom Wolf signed this bill into law.  The bill goes into detail on just how patients can take the marijuana if prescribed by a doctor.  Specifically an individual can take the marijuana in a pill, oil or liquid form.  This is important because many people I have talked to thought that when this bill passed they would be able to just smoke marijuana or even grow their own plants and this is just not the case.


The specific legislation that was passed outline seventeen (17) qualified diagnosed conditions that an individual must exhibit in order to be prescribed marijuana. The medical conditions covered include:

  • Cancer
  • ALS
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Epilepsy
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Huntington’s Disease
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Damage to nervous tissue of spinal cord
  • Seizures
  • Glaucoma
  • Sickle Cell Anemia
  • Autism
  • Terminally Ill
  • Neuropahies
  • Inflammatory Bowl Disease

Like the other states that have passed similar legislation, a doctor must be registered by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to certify that their patient does have an eligible condition as listed above and a patient must then get a Department of Heath issued marijuana Identification Card. A provision in this bill would allow parents to legally buy medical marijuana from other states for their child in need.  Many reports have shown that there is apparently an oil within certain types of marijuana that help relieve they debilitating seizures that many children suffer with on a daily basis. I myself have read countess reports of how marijuana has done just this and saved their child’s life. Often times parents would travel hundreds of miles just to get this marijuana extract knowing that their child would be at ease. One such article that talks about just this I have attached and there are so many similar stories just like that of Charlott.

On the other hand, one thing that people have to be aware of is that even if you take marijuna legally (for medical purposes) it can still have severe consequences if you are caught driving in Pennsylvania.  Doctors prescribe medications all the time to people such as percoset or ambien however this doesn’t mean a person should go and operate a vehicle.  It is the same type of thinking for marijuna and a person needs to understand what can happen to them if they do take marijuna for medical purposes in Pennsylvania or even smoke it legally for recreational use in a State such as Colorado and Washington and then get caught driving in PA. This is becoming more and more prevalent especially as other states pass similar legislation. For one thing, marijuna can remain in an individuals system for days and sometimes weeks even if just a small amount. So for example if an individual smokes marijuna in Colorado “legally” on April 20th and is stopped in Pennsylvania on April 22nd there is a good chance they will test positive for marijuna.  The penalties for a marijuana DUI in PA are as follows:

  • mandatory minimum 3 days for a first offense
  • mandatory minimum 90 days for a second offense (within 10 years)
  • mandatory minimum 1 year in jail for a third offense (within 10 years)

This is a huge issue in many states and will become a major concern for Pennsylvania Drivers who are given a prescription for marijuana by a doctor in the very near future. Hiring the right attorney can make all the difference in the world. If you find yourself arrested for a DUI, make sure you have an attorney on your side. Attorney Zachary B. Cooper will be aggressive and will fight to make sure not only your rights are protected but that you get the best outcome so you and your family can move on with your lives. Call (215) 542-0800 for your free consultation.