New Jersey Vote to Legalize Recreational Marijuana Delayed, as well as the Draeger DrugTest 5000

New Jersey Vote to Legalize Recreational Marijuana Delayed

In a surprise turn of events, New Jersey state legislators took action to cancel and postpone its vote to legalize recreational marijuana today.  Most news agencies reported that legalization was likely to occur, particularly after two legislative committees – the Assembly Appropriations Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee — approved cannabis legalization bills last week that would have made legalization possible.  Moreover, as we previously discussed on the Edward M. Janzekovich law blog, Governor Murphy and Senate President Stephen Sweeney reached an agreement regarding how marijuana sales could be taxed if cannabis were legalized.

Any debate about taxations schemes are moot for the immediate future, however, now that the vote has been delayed.  Although leading lawmakers apparently agreed on the terms of the proposed law, there ultimately was insufficient support to pass the bill.  Knowing that the legislation would fail, legislators chose, instead, to pull any formal votes on the law from the congressional agenda.

Despite this setback to legalization of recreational cannabis in the state, popular support for marijuana continues to grow.  According to a poll taken by Monmouth University last month, 62% adults in the state support legalization of recreational marijuana, and 68% believe legalization could be a benefit to the state’s economy.

Driving While High, Get a DUI

For the time being, driving while high is still illegal.  If marijuana is eventually legalized in New Jersey, every sign indicates driving under the influence of THC, the intoxicating compound in marijuana, will continue to be illegal.  In either case, if you are convicted of driving while intoxicated due to marijuana, you will face significant fines, loss of driving privileges, and possible jail time.

How You Might Be Prosecuted for Driving High in the Future

One thing that might change if marijuana is ever legalized in this state, however, is that New Jersey may implement new methods or devices to detect marijuana intoxication.  Currently, it is illegal to driving drunk in the Garden State, and most people know that the legal alcohol limit is .08% BAC or blood alcohol concentration.  What many people do not know is that there is still only one legal breathalyzer machine that may be used in the state, the Draeger Alcotest 7110.  It is the only make and model of the machine that may be used to prove breath alcohol content in this state, even though there are other machines and models that can and are used in other states.

In the future, New Jersey may choose to adopt a similar machine to test marijuana intoxication.  In Canada, one such government approved device is the Draeger DrugTest 5000.  According to the company’s own website, the Draeger DrugTest 5000 tests a person’s saliva sample quickly in order to identify for drugs like amphetamines, designer drugs, opiates, cocaine and metabolites, benzodiazepines, methadone, and cannabinoids (meaning marijuana and marijuana related products).  If such a machine is ever used in New Jersey, you can guarantee that there will be challenges to its reliability and effectiveness, as well as questions about what levels of drugs indicate legal intoxication.

If you or someone you know is ever charged with driving while high as the result of marijuana, THC, or any other chemical substance, it is important to get an experienced DUI and DWI attorney as soon as possible.  Only a good attorney working with an experienced expert can challenge drug intoxication evidence in many intoxicated driving cases.  It’s important to discuss the evidence against you with a trusted lawyer as soon as possible.

NJ Driving While High Defense Lawyer Edward M. Janzekovich Is a Lawyer You Can Trust

If marijuana is ever legalized for recreational use in this state, you can guarantee that the number of DUI and DWI cases related to THC and cannabinoids will increase.  If you or someone you know is charged, you will want an experienced attorney on your side.  A good lawyer can make all the difference.   To speak with an experienced New Jersey DWI lawyer about your situation, call us at 732-257-1137 or contact us online today.  We serve clients in Ocean County, Monmouth County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Union County and Somerset County.