Legal to Drive w/Marijuana

Marijuana Users Can Drive Legally in Idaho

1/16/2002

Since Idaho law doesn’t list marijuana as an illegal narcotic, a
federal appeals court ruled that users of the drug can legally drive in
the state, the Associated Press reported Jan. 14.

The ruling was made in the case of Matthew Patzer, 21, who was stopped
for a broken tailgate light in 1998 and admitted to police he had smoked
marijuana at a party. He was later convicted for impaired driving.

Under Idaho law, it is illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol
or narcotics.

But the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, Calif.,
ruled that Patzer could not be automatically assumed to be impaired since
the law does not list marijuana as a narcotic and Patzer passed two
sobriety tests.

As a result of the ruling, Patzer’s conviction was overturned. Idaho’s
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Fica may request the court to review
its decision or ask the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case.

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