Is Arizona's Zero-Tolerance Stance on Pot and Driving a Load of B.S.?

Categories: Morning Poll
If you smoked a joint a couple days ago, you are too stoned to drive right now in Arizona.

The state's zero-tolerance law on the combination of marijuana-smoking and driving is the subject of this week's cover story by our colleague Ray Stern, a law that's even worse considering the state has a legal medical-marijuana program.

See also:
-Riding High: Arizona's Zero-Tolerance Stance on Pot and Driving

Stern found that Arizona's one of just 15 states that have such a law, prohibiting driving with any sign of pot in the driver's system, and one of just three states that also has a medical-marijuana law.

Consider if the same law applied to alcohol.

"It's as though the law withdrew your privilege to drive to work Monday through Friday because, on Saturday night, you had a single glass of wine," Stern writes.

Does Arizona's law sound like a load of B.S. to you?

Cast your vote below:

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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.

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Any day of the week when driving I encounter some idiot who thinks they can talk or text while driving.  They can't.  Plenty of Rx that people need to stay functional enough to go to work have the driving disclaimer in the fine print but no affordable public transport means - so they have to drive.  Plenty of  heart patients, diabetics and epileptics likewise have no constraints on driving when in individual cases they most likely should.  Likewise, different people metabolize MJ differently - some might even claim they need it to focus.  IDK what the truth is.  If the substance was truly natural and not enhanced in any way would probably be safer.  But when I see report that baking it causes need for hospitalization I truly wonder what it has been treated with cuz I bake fry boil grill lots of other plant materials and THEY don't make me sick - ever.


I suppose you think drinking and driving laws are bullshit too?  You shouldn't even be smoking pot in the first place.


You have mischaracterized the law. The law requires a metabolite of MJ AND impairment to the slightest degree. I think you would not find a single case where a person was convicted who merely had metabolites and was convicted of an MJ DUI. In theory it could happen, but practically speaking, a person would have to come to the notice of an officer (likely because of poor driving) and appear to a trained Drug Recognition Evaluator to be impaired by MJ or some other drug before an arrest is made and blood is drawn for analysis to find the metabolites. 

I certainly think that the AZ lege would be justified in revisiting the details of our MJ DUI laws in light of our MedMJ laws, but the moral panic of the press on this issue is out of all proportion to the actual chance of an unjust conviction.


You obviously have never worked around or with law enforcement.  You would be singing a different tune.  Unless your one of them I guess, then it's all about watching out for each other no matter what was done.


@mbryanaz The problem is this impairment can be based solely on the testimony of a LEO, and we all know just how ethical LEOs are, especially in Maricopa County.


Don't be so ignorant.  You shouldn't get high and drive I think everyone agrees.  Most people wont do that anyway.  It isn't like alcohol where people want to get in the car and drive. 

But this is ignorance saying people with any metabolites in them can't drive.  So if a person smokes some Cannabis on Friday he shouldn't be driving to work on Monday morning.  This is the most ignorant and pathetic stupidity there can be.  The people who are imposing this law are both cruel and inhuman.

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