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San Francisco marijuana DUI defense attorneyWith California’s legalization of recreational marijuana in 2016, more people have had access to both recreational and medical marijuana. Many people have feared that legal marijuana will cause more harm than good, especially when it comes to DUI. According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP) marijuana DUI arrests have increased by 31 percent and injuries related to marijuana DUI have increased about 102 percent. A recent marijuana DUI case only adds more cause for concern. A California woman was convicted with gross vehicular manslaughter and a DUI for a crash that happened in 2016, which killed one person and seriously injured another.

Medical Marijuana Leads to Deadly Crash

Back in March 2016, a California woman caused a head-on collision with a vintage Porsche that had only lap seat belts and no airbags. The crash caused the death of a 43-year-old woman and the traumatic brain injury of the woman’s 49-year-old fiance. The woman’s attorney stated that the woman was “catastrophically impaired” after she purchased a potent strain of marijuana at a medical marijuana dispensary and proceeded to smoke it just moments before the crash. The woman’s lawyer claims that she could not be found guilty for the accident because she was not informed of how strong the marijuana that she purchased was.

Woman Escapes Second-Degree Murder Charge

Initially, the woman had also faced a charge for second-degree murder in addition to gross vehicular manslaughter and DUI. The San Diego jury deciding her case was deadlocked on the charge 10-2, which meant that the charge was dropped. According to the Deputy District Attorney, the jurors were in disagreement on whether or not the facts of the case lined up with the definition of “implied malice”, which is a component of second-degree murder. A second-degree murder charge would have carried a penalty of 15 years to life in prison.

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San Jose drug charges attorney, marijuana legalization, drug charges, marijuana DUI, recreational marijuanaAs of January 1, 2018, the sale of marijuana for recreational use will be legal in the state of California. While this represents a major change in state laws, there are still situations in which the possession or use of marijuana can lead to criminal charges. Users of recreational marijuana should be aware of how the law affects them and how they can avoid marijuana-related drug charges.

Marijuana Possession and Sale

Under California law, a person over the age of 21 can possess up to 28.5 grams (about one ounce) of marijuana, or up to eight grams of concentrated cannabis. It is also legal to grow up to six marijuana plants in one’s home, as long as they are kept in a locked area. Starting January 1, 2018, licensed businesses will be able to sell marijuana, as long as it is allowed in the county or city where they are located.

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