Pennsylvania Court Rules Medical Cannabis Is Schedule I Drug Under Driving Laws

The Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled that medical cannabis is a Schedule I substance and that driving after consuming cannabis is a violation of the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code.



Full story after the jump.

The Pennsylvania Superior Court has rejected an argument that medical cannabis is not a Schedule I controlled substance, York Daily Record reports. The argument was made in a driving under the influence case and Judge Deborah A. Kunselman ruled that there is no difference between medical cannabis and the scheduled plant.

“There is no need for ‘medical marijuana’ to be listed as a Schedule I controlled substance because medical marijuana is marijuana, specifically marijuana ‘for certified medical use.’” – Kunselman, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Franklin Roosevelt Dabney Jr., May 5, 2022

The defendant, Franklin Roosevelt Dabney Jr., had sought the appeal of his DUI of a Schedule I controlled substance conviction on the grounds that he is a certified medical cannabis patient in the state and that the DUI law would be in “direct conflict” with the state Medical Marijuana Act.

Kunselman’s ruling notes that Dabney did not have his medical cannabis card with him at the time of the stop, “yet had a bag of marijuana, and the Trooper smelled burnt marijuana” which could be a violation of Pennsylvania medical cannabis law provisions.

“After careful consideration, we find that medical marijuana remains a Schedule I controlled substance for purposes of [driving under the influence laws],” the opinion states. “Contrary to Dabney’s argument, no conflict exists between the MMA and the Vehicle Code. The Vehicle Code and the CSA render it illegal to drive with any amount of a Schedule I controlled substance in one’s blood.”

The opinion is precedential, meaning it has a binding effect on future cases in Pennsylvania.

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