How Would Legal Marijuana Change DWI Law In New Jersey?

Not only are we in an election year, but we’re also in the midst of a cultural revolution when it comes to how states deal with marijuana.

For years, there was a nationwide push to carve out a quasi-legal medical marijuana category on the grounds of compassion for patients, but in recent years, the energy has all been directed toward removing legal prohibitions from recreational use of marijuana.

Colorado, Massachusetts, Washington State, Oregon, Alaska, Nevada, and Maine have all abandoned criminalization, and a total of 29 states and the District of Columbia have reduced enforcement through one mechanism or another.

One big question that policymakers in the state are beginning to grapple with is, if New Jersey becomes a recreational use state, how will that affect DWI cases involving marijuana?

After all, with alcohol, there are standardized testing methodologies that can be applied in a relatively impartial manner.

For marijuana, it’s easy to determine if someone has ingested the drug in the last 30 days or so, but much harder to show that it was consumed an hour before a traffic stop.

The state already relies on specially trained police officers called Drug Recognition Experts (DRE) to look for signs of impairment by drugs, and while every department in the state has a DRE, far more officers will likely need to become certified if the state moves toward legalization.

While you can be convicted of DWI just on the testimony of police and other witnesses, cases with less concrete evidence – like an Alcotest result – leave more room for a strong defense.

It seems inevitable that when it comes to marijuana law, changes are heading our way in New Jersey.

How we handle it is up to us.

If you’ve been arrested for DWI in New Jersey, an experienced lawyer can make a big difference in your case.

Call Matthew Reisig today at 732-625-9660 for a free consultation with an experienced New Jersey DWI defense lawyer.

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