The recreational sale and usage of marijuana became legal in Colorado in 2012 after the passage of Amendment 64 to the Colorado Constitution. A similar measure passed that same year in Washington State. Since that time, eight other US States have legalized recreational cannabis usage, and the vast majority of all US States have now legalized cannabis for medical use. According to a Gallup Poll conducted in 2016, nearly half of US adults have tried Marijuana, and 1 in 8 smoke marijuana regularly.
While we have all heard the stories of hippies “smoking grass” in the 60’s and 70’s, the cannabis getting sold and ingested today is not your father’s marijuana. According to SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration), the average THC potency in marijuana has risen at least 74% since just 2006. No matter which side of the aisle one falls on in regard to the issue of legality, it is undeniable that legalization presents new challenges across the board for both law enforcement and legal professionals.
For example, it is against the law in the State of Colorado to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of Marijuana. Those who do risk getting charged with a DUID (Driving Under the Influence of Drugs). While we know it to be illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana, how law enforcement should go about enforcing this law is still up for much debate. Often times, we see police officers using the same tests and looking for the same detection clues when investigating someone who they suspect to be driving under the influence of marijuana that they use when investigating someone operating a motor vehicle who they suspect to be intoxicated from alcohol. While both alcohol and marijuana use can impair a person’s driving ability, the ways police officers should be going about detecting these potential impairments under the law can be quite different.
If you should find yourself in the unfortunate position of being charged with a DUID in the Denver Metro Area, you have the right to defend yourself and make sure that the police acted properly under the law. If this has affected you or a person you know, contact us. We can help.