Pennsylvania Senators Will Consider DUI Protections For Medical Marijuana Patients At Hearing

MJ moment

A Pennsylvania Senate committee is set to take up a bill next week that would protect medical marijuana patients from being prosecuted under the state’s “zero tolerance” DUI laws. The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Camera Bartolotta (R), would amend state statute to require proof of active impairment before a registered patient can be prosecuted for driving under the influence. The current lack of specific protections for the state’s roughly 368,000 patients puts them in legal jeopardy when on the road, supporters say. Members of the Senate Transportation Committee will explore the issue at a hearing on Tuesday. The #PASenate Transportation Committee will hold a hearing on 9/21 with a focus on my #SB167, which would remove DUI penalties for legal medicinal cannabis use. @SenLangerholc @PASenateGOP Details https://t.co/cSd2Cpdky9 pic.twitter.com/av3mxvAuCk — Senator Bartolotta (@senbartolotta) September 16, 2021 Bartolotta first introduced an earlier version of the bill in June 2020. She said at the time that the state needs to “ensure that the legal use of this medicine does not give rise to a criminal conviction.” Months after the standalone reform legislation was introduced, the Pennsylvania House approved a separate amendment that would enact the policy change. Pennsylvania legalized medical marijuana in 2016, with the first dispensaries in the state opening in 2018. But the state’s zero-tolerance DUI law still doesn’t reflect those changes. Because it criminalizes the presence of any THC or its metabolites in a driver’s blood—which can be detected for weeks after a person’s last use—the law puts virtually all medical marijuana patients at risk, even if it’s been days since their last use and they show no signs of impairment. Bartolotta’s bill would require officers to prove a registered patient was actually impaired on the road. — Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,200 cannabis, psychedelics and drug…

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