Skip to comments.Court's marijuana ruling a victory for authorities(zero tolerance in the real world)
Posted on 06/22/2006 9:52:05 PM PDT by freepatriot32
Marijuana users can be arrested for drugged driving weeks after they toast a joint, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled Wednesday in a Jackson County appeal.
A veteran prosecutor hailed the ruling as a correct interpretation of the zero-tolerance law that will make enforcement easier. A longtime defense attorney said the high court has opened the floodgates on overreaching government.
"This goes to show the Supreme Court does not seem to care about individual rights," Jackson attorney Jerry Engle said.
At issue were cases from Jackson and Grand Traverse counties. The local case involved the prosecution of Dennis Kurts for driving under the influence of marijuana.
Blackman Township police in February 2004 cited Kurts, 44, of Michigan Center, after he was stopped for driving erratically. He admitted smoking marijuana, police said. The time frame in which he smoked is unclear.
A blood test did not detect the narcotic THC, or tetrahydrrocannabinol, which is in marijuana. Instead, the test showed the presence of carboxy THC, a benign product of metabolism that can remain in the blood for a month after marijuana use.
Jackson County Circuit Judge Chad Schmucker dismissed the case in 2004 on the basis that the THC remnant was not an illegal controlled substance. Wednesday's ruling sends the case back to Schmucker's court.
"The Supreme Court makes it clear carboxy THC is a controlled substance, and the Michigan Legislature says it is against the law to drive with any controlled substance in the body," said Jerrold Schrotenboer, appellate attorney for Prosecutor Hank Zavislak.
Had the ruling gone the other way, prosecutors and defense attorneys would have to offer dueling expert witnesses to argue the issue, Schrotenboer said. The high court's ruling considers the THC derivative and the actual narcotic one in the same, rather than circumstantial evidence that a driver might have been high.
"This makes it vastly easier for prosecutors to convict on drugged-driving charges," Schrotenboer said.
That alarms Engle, who argued against Schrotenboer before the Supreme Court in January. Not all police and prosecutors use discretion, and some might see the same dollar signs that drive drunken-driving convictions, Engle said. The Legislature in recent years passed fees of up to $3,500 against drunken drivers, and those same fees apply to drugged driving, he said.
"Suppose someone runs a red light into your car. The cop asks if you have smoked marijuana in the last several weeks," Engle said. "A blood test shows carboxy THC. The other guy gets a traffic ticket, and you go to jail."
follow the money er um i mean its for the children yeah thats it it s for the children the money they make has nothingot do with convicting people of driving while they are high when they arent high and havent been for up to a month
"toast a joint?"
So, you can be busted for being high when you're not high? How does this make the least bit of sense in the way of preventing accidents? I hold these judges in contempt.
So, you can be busted for being high when you're not high?
If the chemical is found in your blood then you are guilty of breaking the law.
A victory for the authorities...Another defeat for the Constitution.
Hey, I think they should simply shoot pot and heroin users on sight, if they're serious about it. Let's war on drugs, if we're going to war on them, instead of having a police action. Then we'll have a real public policy argument instead of the no-see-um effect we have right now, where people like Al Gore Jr. get off entirely and others go to jail.
They're being busted for driving while intoxicated not for being drug users. You're in favor of arresting and convicting people for things they didn't do?
"How does this make the least bit of sense in the way of preventing accidents?"
It doesn't. Neither do drug laws, generally--but you weren't supposed to know that.
More WOD nonsense that won't make one tiny bit of idfference... except maybe to provide new leather furnitire of the DA's office.
constitution....constitution...let me see oh yeah I rember that vagely from school. that the document that some old dead guys wrote a couple of hundred years ago that states that all power derives from the big central federal government but if you are lucky sometimes our masters grant priviliges to us lowly peons on a temparary basis is that the document you are refering too ?
Ridiculous. THC can stay in the system for weeks. A THC high lasts hours, not weeks. This is just more revenue gathering for our cancerous tumor of a government.
Yeah, the one that's alive and keeps growing into a new and improved version!
I manage a multi-million dollar business in a very competitive industry. We employ 12 people and the business donates heavily in the community. I have been an alcoholic, dope runner, dealer and smoker and a 2 pack a day cigarette habit. I am no longer most of these...lol!
In order of most dangerous to myself and those around me, I would rank cigarettes and alcohol the worst. And I will never go to jail for abusing them when I am not driving.
How dare those statists!!! Don't they realize that there's a secret unwritten Constimuhtushunal emanation of a penumbra that guarantees the right to smoke dope and then drive on the public streets?