The ruling overturned a state Court of Appeals decision last year that upheld the right of authorities to prosecute pot smokers for DUI even when there is no evidence of impairment.
The opinion focuses on two chemical compounds in marijuana that show up in blood and urine tests — one that causes impairment and one that doesn’t but stays in a pot user’s system for weeks.
Tuesday’s state Supreme Court opinion removed the threat in explaining that while state statute makes it illegal for a driver to be impaired by marijuana, the presence of a non-psychoactive compound does not constitute impairment under the law.
The state Supreme Court noted that the language of Arizona’s statute is ambiguous and does not make a distinction between the marijuana metabolite that causes impairment and the one that does not when determining whether criminal charges are warranted. Prosecutors had argued that the statute’s reference to “its metabolite” when referring to drug compounds detected in a driver’s system covers all compounds related to drugs, not just those that cause impairment.
The full article can be read at: http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/arizona-court-rules-dui-law-marijuana-users-23426094