Alcohol & Drugs: DUI, DWI Driving after having medical marijuana


New Member
New York
There is a medical marijuana clinic opening up in my neighborhood and it makes me nervous. And something happened last week and I am not sure what to do because I don't want to create a problem where there isn't one. My friend Jack and I have a mutual friend named Winston who borrowed Jack's car and got into a small accident. Winston told me once before that he has a prescription for medical marijuana for a chronic pain in his leg. He mentioned that he uses medical marijuana every day and makes him feel better doing everything including driving. If I knew that he was going to borrow Jack's car I would have told Jack about what Winston told me. Winston said that the active ingredients in medical marijuana don't cause you to be impaired and it just takes away the pain without being high so he is fine to drive. I am not sure what to believe but I want to get the facts straight and also think Jack should know because Winston could have also gotten into an accident which hurt somebody too.
Winston said that the active ingredients in medical marijuana don't cause you to be impaired and it just takes away the pain without being high so he is fine to drive.

Winston is an idiot. That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard.

He can be arrested for DWAI - drugs if he smokes weed then drives.

No one should be lending him a car.
Some people pesay the same thing after drinking s few beers... "I'm not drunk"

Winston is uninformed and may find himself with a DUI some day for driving while under the influence of marijuana. Medical or not, it doesn't matter. If he is using it daily he will likely show symptoms in a sobriety test.
Winston is an idiot. That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard.
He can be arrested for DWAI - drugs if he smokes weed then drives.
Unfortunately the marijuana marketing machines are in full force and effect, which leads to a massive amount of misinformation being released and a misunderstanding. I performed a random search in Google and this came out on top from University of Colorado regarding cannabidiol (CBD). Can cannabis kill pain without getting you stoned?

"Our preliminary data suggest that when people use a CBD-containing strain they show less intoxication, less cognitive impairment and less craving."

I can easily see this being misinterpreted by those with an optimistic lens, not appreciating that a lesser impact is not the equivalent of constituting no meaningful or material impairment. It would be easier explained that having 3 beers can sometimes only have the impact of 2 beers... but you've still been drinking and you are required to allow sufficient time to pass to ensure that you are certainly not impaired by what you've imbibed. But let's keep looking to see what one might find on other sites that might advocate the use of marijana. Let's try "Honest Marijuana" because you know they must be honest!

Does CBD Oil Get You High?

"The short answer to the question, "Does CBD oil get you high?" is no. CBD oil won't get you high because it has been specifically produced to minimize THC count (the stuff that gets you high) while maximizing CBD count (the stuff that actually prevents you getting high)."

As opposed to the academic article, this seems to claim that you won't get high at all. Let's look even further, beyond the entire scientific explanation of marijuana and its effects.

CBD Oil Won't Get You High, But Are There Any Side Effects?
The short answer? No, there aren't any side effects. Scientists haven't come right out and said that, but studies have shown that the biggest side effect of high-CBD products like CBD oil is dry mouth.

Keep reading and you'll find that CBD and marijuana has been maligned by the government when it is actually a panacea for all your bodily ails. I'm not against its usage and of course actors of the state have been known to show more concern about taxation than altruism. But in these times it becomes more difficult to discern truth from advocacy and marketing clothed in the guise of unbiased educational materials - even if all of us would probably not trust the opinions presented in the aforementioned article.
Interesting thoughts....

This Canadian article offers some sound insight on the matter:

Driving & Cannabis | Medical Marijuana

This is my takeaway from the Canadian article:

Studies have indicated that the use of THC cannabis while driving impacts your:

Reaction time
Visual function
Divided attention
Following distance

THC cannabis can impair judgment and performance in a naïve patient. It also compromises your ability to handle unexpected events, such as a pedestrian darting out on the roadway and doubles your risk of a collision.


Many drugs prescribed by physicians advise patients NOT to use while operating heavy machinery, flying, boating, or driving; even though the medications are lawfully prescribed and being used.

Life experience tells me that MOST people read or see only that which they wish to see to support their ultimate goal.

A Florida defense lawyer offers some wisdom to avoid conflict with law enforcement officials:

Gelch & Associates, P.A.

Right or wrong, agree or disagree , with any law; its best to obey the law to maintain your physical freedom and avoid lengthy, expensive court battles.

Criminal trials cost far more than the fee one pays a lawyer, or even if one obtains a taxpayer funded lawyer, your standing in the community could be harmed, you could lose days of work while confined to a jail (or even house arrest), you might even lose your employment by boxing with the justice system.
Let me be clear - THC is something entirely different. That surely is driving under the influence without a doubt. CBD is different. It does not contain the chemicals which can cause psychoactive effects. Apparently some products which use CBD are different. But under no circumstances are you yet allowed to drive if you are under the influence of marijuana and a test coming back as positive will not be automatically invalidated with a prescription.

Apparently WebMD does agree that CBD is different and should not make you high - but it does not go so far to say that there is also no issue of impairment. The NIH appears to think there might not be impairment but their studies are short and premature. Regardless of what is the truth about the impact or non-impact of CBD, regarding medical marijuana, the DOJ specifically stated that they will not invalidate a positive test because a driver asserts a defense of being prescribed medical marijuana by a physician.

Anyway, I'm glad to engage in a little more education on the subject since I am not in the vicinity of this topic, don't know enough, and respect those who want to use it truly for medicinal purposes. But the general rule to me is still the same - regardless of whatever substance or condition may impair, even over the counter medicine, being far too tired to drive, etc., one should never get behind the wheel.
So here is the NIS explaining what is medical marijuana? Apparently it all depends upon what it is you're receiving that will determine the extent of impairment, if any. Regardless, there is always the presence of some THC although it can be in extremely small quantities but potentially sufficient to record a positive test result for marijuana. At this time, regardless of whether medical marijuana is primarily CBD-based, it is still unlawful to be under the influence while driving. I certainly hope that there is a way to make the information clear so that people will err on the side of caution.