By Steve Elliott
There's nothing wrong with charging a motorist who smoked marijuana a month ago with impaired driving, an Arizona prosecutor told the state Supreme Court on Tuesday.
Susan Luder, a deputy Maricopa County attorney, admitted that carboxy-THC, a metabolite of marijuana, often shows up in drug tests a month after the last time an individual used cannabis, reports Howard Fischer at Capitol Media Services. She didn't even argue with her own expert witness, who said the presence of that metabolite does not indicate someone is impaired.
But, as strange as it seems, Luder told the Supreme Court justices that it is perfectly legal under Arizona law to prosecute someone for driving under the influence of marijuana when they haven't smoked for a month, and are not impaired at all.
Those convicted of driving while drugged can lose their driver's license for up to a year in Arizona.
Chief Justice Rebecca Burch wondered where, exactly, the line is if someone can be charged for impaired driving a month after using marijuana. She questioned if Luder's logic falls apart if carboxy-THC can be detected a year -- or even five years -- after someone last used pot.
Luder brushed aside such arguments, saying it's "up to the Legislature to decide."