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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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DUI arrest, San Jose marijuana DUI attorney, DUI charges, legal marijuana, recreational marijuana As of the beginning of 2018, the sale and use of marijuana for recreational purposes is legal in the state of California. While many people are celebrating this change in the law and the freedoms it provides, they should be aware that marijuana is now treated much the same as alcohol, and driving while intoxicated by the drug can lead to a DUI arrest.

California’s Marijuana DUI Laws

California law states that it is unlawful to drive a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It is also illegal to have an open container of alcohol or marijuana in a vehicle while driving.

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