Legal Question in Criminal Law in Minnesota

Is it illegal to drive a car if your system isn't fully cleaned of marijuana. State of Minnesota.

Asked on 11/11/16, 1:43 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Thomas C. Gallagher Gallagher Criminal Defense

In Minnesota it is a crime to drive "under the influence" of marijuana, meaning the driver's ability to drive is impaired by marijuana. Police efforts to prove that generally involve urine (or blood) testing, as well as other investigation. Most often "DWI - marijuana" cases include possession of marijuana in a motor vehicle charges, as well - but not always.

The problem is that the drug effect of marijuana wears off in just a few hours, but non-psychoactive THC metabolites remain in the blood and urine sometimes for weeks after last use -- long after any psychoactive effect has worn off.

The responsible marijuana user will never drive within hours of last use. The prudent marijuana user will avoid possessing it in their motor vehicle. If a driver gets charged with DWI-marijuana even though not impaired, that's where a lawyer like me can be helpful.

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Answered on 11/11/16, 2:08 pm
Samuel Edmunds Sieben Edmunds Miller PLLC

No. It's only a crime if you're under the influence of the marijuana at the time of driving. This can be difficult for the government to prove. A positive urine or blood test doesn't necessarily equate to impairment. If you're facing this type of charge, I recommend hiring a DWI lawyer that has lots of experienced specifically with controlled substance cases and blood and urine testing. Feel free to give me a call to discuss further. 651-994-6744.

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Answered on 11/13/16, 10:35 am

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