Officials say people shouldn’t be driving under influence of medical marijuana

ENOLA, CUMBERLAND COUNTY, Pa. -- As a medical marijuana program continues to develop here in Pennsylvania, there is growing concern over the possibility of patients driving under the influence of the drug.

Official say medical marijuana is like any drug, and they would never tell someone it's okay to drive while under the influence. Will a person face charges if caught doing so? That's questionable.

Can a person with medical marijuana in their system hop behind the wheel here in Pennsylvania? The Cumberland County District Attorney says it’s complicated.
"The legal answer is no. The practical point of it is that, you know, if the person driving is not impaired, there would no way really for law enforcement to understand why we would have to pull over somebody," said Skip Ebert, the Cumberland County District Attorney.

Pennsylvania law states someone can be charged with a DUI if any amount of THC is found in their system while driving.

That begs the question: will medicated people be punished if they are pulled over?

"Certainly in this county, with our new facility, there’s not going to be police parked outside their doors, looking for people to see who comes out. That’s never the case. We’ve never done that with bars," said Ebert.

At Organic Remedies Dispensary in the Enola, patients are advised to stay within the law.

"We educate our patients on the do’s and the don’ts, you have a sheet here that we talk to the patient about. Everything from, ‘hey, remember this is a federally illegal substance, all the way down through don’t leave the state, don’t get on an airplane with it," said Eric Hauser, CEO and President of Organic Remedies.

That includes staying out of the driver's seat while benefiting from medical marijuana.

So what would merit charges?

"You’d have to show signs of erratic driving, such that your motor skills are so impaired from the use of this prescription that you can’t drive safely and therefore you are a danger to others," said Ebert.

Patients here at Organic Remedies are advised to always bring their medical marijuana card with them. They’re also told that the drug can effect their decisions, and told, if possible, to take it before going to sleep.