An Arizona court ruled Tuesday that drivers with medical marijuana licenses can still be charged with driving under the influence.
Travis Darrah, a Phoenix man with a medical marijuana license, was charged in December 2011 with two counts of DUI. According to the court documents, a test taken after his arrest found he had active components found in marijuana in his system.
A jury acquitted Darrah of the first count, driving while impaired, but not of the second, having a prohibited drug or its metabolite in his body. Darrah argued that because he was medically licensed to use marijuana and was not impaired, he was immune from being prosecuted.
Judge Michael Brown wrote that had Arizona voters wanted to protect medical marijuana users from being penalized for operating vehicles, they would have put specific language into state law.
“In the absence of such specific wording, we will not presume the electorate intended otherwise,” Brown wrote.
There are about 50,000 Arizonans medically licensed to use marijuana under a 2010 state law, according to the Arizona Republic.