Stories like this still seem to shock people:
Drivers from Arizona and at least nine other states, including Utah, Iowa, Indiana, Delaware and Rhode Island, are going to jail, paying big fines and losing their licenses after having gotten driving-under-the-influence citations when blood tests prove they were not high.
“It makes no sense,” says attorney Michael Alarid III, who is representing a man charged in Arizona. “But this is how prosecutors and the courts are interpreting the law. And the legislature doesn’t appear to want to change it. So we’re hoping we can get the issue before the state Supreme Court.”
How could a person who is not high get busted for DUI? It happens when science meets politics.
Blood tests can detect two important chemical compounds that come from marijuana. One of them, THC, makes a person high and lasts for hours. The other inactive chemical, created as your body neutralizes THC, can linger in a person’s system for up to a month.
In Arizona, state law says if you have either of these compounds in your blood, you are guilty of a DUI.
Why would a state government make somebody pay a fine if they weren’t actually impaired? Why would police officers detain a person who wasn’t demonstrably under the influence of drugs? Because the state exists entirely off of expropriation and the police are one of the state’s primary expropriators. It’s unlikely these laws will be changed anytime soon since they stand to make the state a great deal of wealth.