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Protect yourself at a traffic stop as a medical marijuana user

On Behalf of | Jan 3, 2024 | Drug Charges

There’s a lot of talk these days about the impact of medical marijuana users on “drugged driving” incidents – and that may have you understandably nervous if you have your medical marijuana card (MMC) and get stopped for a traffic violation.

How do you protect yourself from a drugged driving charge? Here are some basics to keep in mind:

1. You should not divulge the fact that you are a medical marijuana user

Technically, law enforcement officers can verify that you are part of the state’s medical marijuana program – but only when there is some legal necessity to do so. For example, if you have a jar of edibles in your possession from a dispensary and they want to make sure that you’re legally allowed to have them. There’s no reason for an officer to verify your MMC information for a routine traffic infraction.

2. Do not keep your medical marijuana card near your driver’s license

If you put your MMC in your wallet with your driver’s license and other information, the odds are high that an officer will spot it when they look at your license. It’s better to keep your MMC in a closed part of your wallet or entirely separate, instead.

3. Do not keep any cannabis products in the main body of the car

Thanks to a ruling from the state’s Supreme Court, officers can no longer use the odor of marijuana alone to justify a warrantless search of your car – but that doesn’t mean they won’t find a way to justify probable cause for an arrest and a drug test if they smell cannabis in your car or see the product. If you’re on the way home from the dispensary or you’re carrying your medical marijuana with you, lock it away where it cannot be seen by prying eyes.

If you are charged with drugged driving, the wisest move you can make is to invoke your right to remain silent until you can seek legal guidance.