Although California has legalized marijuana both recreationally and medically, it is still illegal to drive while under the influence of marijuana. If a police officer suspects a person of being under the influence, they can ask that person to take a blood or a urine test. Refusing to do so can have consequences, but the problem is that the THC compound the test is looking for can remain in a person’s system hours or days after having smoked. This makes marijuana DUI hard for prosecutors to prove, and easy for a qualified defense attorney to disprove. Still, a marijuana DUI is treated almost exactly like an alcohol DUI with the same penalties, which can become serious if someone is injured. The San Francisco Chronicle reports on a possible marijuana DUI that injured a State Controller.
A California Highway Patrol officer from the Dignitary Protection Division was driving California State Controller Betty Yee and her husband, Steven Jacobs from their Alameda home to an executive meeting for the state Democratic Party. The meeting was to take place at the Marriott Hotel in Oakland.
The car was stopped in traffic when a Nissan sedan driven by Aaron Ba Sean George rear-ended the vehicle. George then attempted to flee the scene and hit the vehicle again, propelling it forward into the rear of a Toyota ahead of them.
Yee, Jacobs, and the driver of their vehicle were treated at a local hospital for severe bruising and whiplash. The driver of the Toyota was not injured.
It is suspected that George, 25, was under the influence of marijuana at the time of the accident. He was seriously injured in the accident and was taken to the hospital to have his injuries treated.
When George is released from the hospital, he will be booked into the Alameda County Jail for suspicion of DUI marijuana.