(WTAJ) — A state bill could change the way Pennsylvania handles medical marijuana behind the wheel.
The bill would protect medical marijuana patients from probably cause for DUI charges without proof of impairment. Currently, the state has a zero tolerance policy for medical marijuana while driving, so impairment is irrelevant.
The Senate Transportation Committee passed the vote onto the Senate by unanimous vote. In Pennsylvania, most other prescription medications require proof of impairment for DUI offenses.
Bellefonte defense attorney Brian Manchester said the state currently allows for certain amounts of THC levels in the bloodstream with other activities like operating machinery or even working with explosives.
“If you’re a medical patient with under 10 grams of medical serum, you can blow things up, you can work on power lines and you can dig in coal mines,” Manchester said. “All require the use of equipment, except on high power lines, you’re way up there in the air. But there’s no provision under any law to allow somebody to drive.”
Harrisburg business owner and mother Deneke Weber was charged with first-time DUI by state troopers after she said she showed her medical cannabis card after a one-vehicle crash that was caused by old tires.
Weber said she didn’t have any marijuana in her car at the time and was not impaired.
“I think it needs to be proof of impairment, proof of putting someone else in danger,” Weber said.
She said she won’t drive to get cannabis until the bill is passed and instead find other ways to get to dispensaries.
“I’m scared to. I get rides. I don’t want to be behind the wheel,” Weber said.