Tag: marijuana

350px-Marijuana_plant

How “Weed Day” (420) Got Its Name

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I am fascinated by the origin of the term “420” and how it became associated with marijuana.  There are as many stories about its origin as there are people you ask.  Just a short search on Google leads to the following origin stories.

  • It’s the number of active chemicals in marijuana.
  • It’s teatime in Holland.
  • It has something to do with Hitler’s birthday.
  • It’s those numbers in that Bob Dylan song multiplied.
  • It was like a police code for smoking in progress or something.
  • In 2003, when the California Legislature codified the medical marijuana law that voters had approved, the bill was named SB 420.

It turns out that I’m not the only one who wanted an answer. Some heavy hitting investigators were unleashed over at Huffington Post.  Their story focuses on a group of five San Rafael High School friends known as the Waldos — by virtue of their chosen hangout spot, a wall outside the school — coined the term in 1971. “The Waldos’ story goes like this: One day in the fall of 1971 — harvest time — the Waldos got word of a Coast Guard service member who could no longer tend his plot of marijuana plants near the Point Reyes Peninsula Coast Guard station. A treasure map in hand, the Waldos decided to pluck some of the free bud. The Waldos, who were all athletes, agreed to meet at the statue of Louis Pasteur outside the school at 4:20 p.m., after practice, to begin the hunt.” (link).

Whatever story you choose to believe, there is no doubt that “420” has become a day celebrating the struggle for legalization of marijuana and continued research into medical uses of marijuana.  We stand ready to help you in Ohio if you are accused of driving while high, driving under the influence of drugs, driving under the influence (DUI), or operating a vehicle under the influence of marijuana (OVI).

drugged driving, marijuana

State by State Drugged Driving Laws

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Ohio has adopted one of the toughest and least popular marijuana impairment laws in the country. This post will provide an overview of how other states have dealt with the issue.

Every state has laws dealing with alcohol-impaired driving and drug-impaired driving. But unlike the laws for alcohol-impaired driving, those that address drug-impaired driving are nuanced, difficult to enforce and prosecute and vary substantially by state. In addition to general impairment laws, there are two basic laws that states tend to use when addressing drug-impaired driving: More info

Miami Valley NORML

Thanks Miami Valley NORML

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On May 16th, I was honored to speak to Miami Valley NORML about how to properly handle a police interaction.  I was also able to pledge the continued support of myself and my office in helping to end the scourge of drug war arrests and make marijuana legal in Ohio. I have devoted most of my professional life to ending the failed War on Drugs.  The speech focused on many ways to know and exercise your rights.

This may be the year that Ohio joins other states in re-legalizing marijuana. Miami Valley NORML is an indispensable partner in making this happen. If you would like to help, contact MVNORML at 937-TOP-HEMP ( 937-867-4367).

If you are arrested on suspicion of drugged driving, contact Miami Valley NORML attorney Charles M. Rowland II today!

Ohio DUI Law: Is Smell of Marijuana Sufficient?

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Marijuana Is the odor of enough to justify a police search or arrest and can an officer make a valid determination based on just a smell?

marijuanaA peer-reviewed journal article, entitled “Marijuana Odor Perception: Studies Modeled From Probable Cause Cases”, published in Law and Human Behavior, (Vol. 28, No. 2, April 2004) explains that “The present findings throw into question, in two specific instances, the validity of observations made by law enforcement officers using the sense of smell to discern the presence of the drug.
Although these instances reflect a very small set of studies with very specific constraints, they do suggest that a blanket acceptance of testimony based upon reported detection of odors for probable cause is questionable and that empirical data to support or refute such testimony in specific cases is sorely needed.”

There is a saying that “even a stopped watch is right twice a day,” so if officers claim that they “smell marijuana” and then find nothing, the driver, passenger or pedestrian is often sent on their way. We rarely hear about all of the “false positives” of the police “smell test.” But there is growing evidence that police often simply say that they have detected the smell of marijuana, and if some is found, it is merely a happy coincidence for them.

So what can you do if a cop tells you they suspect that you are using marijuana based on an odor?  Unfortunately, courts have ruled time and time again that this unscientific measure is valid to provide the officer in question with “probable cause.” But your best bet is still to say that while you have nothing to hide, you do not consent to any searches of your person or vehicle.

Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in the Miami Valley and throughout Ohio. He has the credentials and the experience to win your case and has made himself Dayton’s choice for drunk driving defense. Contact Charles Rowland by phone at (937) 318-1384 or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (888-769-5263). If you need assistance after hours, call the 24/7 DUI Hotline at (937) 776-2671. You can have DaytonDUI at your fingertips by downloading the DaytonDUI Android App or have DaytonDUI sent directly to your mobile device by texting DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500. Follow DaytonDUI on Facebook, @DaytonDUI on Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Pheed and Pintrest or get RSS of the Ohio DUI blog. You can email CharlesRowland@DaytonDUI.com or visit his office at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324.

“All I do is DUI defense.”

For more info on Ohio Marijuana Driving Law, check these city-specific sites at the following links:

Fairborn, Dayton, Springfield, Kettering, Vandalia, Xenia, Miamisburg, Huber Heights, Springboro, Oakwood, Beavercreek, Centerville

Ruling Could Doom Ohio Stoned Driving Rules

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stoned driving

Stoned driving laws took a hit this week when Arizona ruled that per se limits on marijuana could not be applied.

Ohio has adopted a draconian impairment law that punishes drivers for having a metabolite of marijuana in their system.  In effect that means that you are stoned driving if you smoke or ingest marijuana the metabolite “hydroxy-THC” that will remain in your body long after the “high” has dissipated.  This means that you may be “impaired” for purposes of the law, but not in any way be impaired by the drug.  If you visit Colorado to legally use recreational marijuana and return to Ohio, you are impaired for up to thirty days thereafter.  This is an absurd and unjust law that gives too much power to law enforcement and enshrines Ohio’s War on Drugs into law.

With states like Colorado legalizing the sale of marijuana, jurisdictions are scrambling to deal with the consequences. Last month, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled 4 to 1 that draconian laws designed to handle driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol could not be applied directly to pot because of the way the drug interacts with the bloodstream.

The high court justices agreed that the statute’s wording was ambiguous and should be interpreted in a way that does not lead to an absurd result, which is what would happen if prosecutors were allowed to implement a zero-tolerance reading of the law. “This interpretation would create criminal liability regardless of how long the metabolite remains in the driver’s system or whether it has any impairing effect,” Justice Robert M. Brutinel wrote for the majority. “For example, at oral argument the state acknowledged that, under its reading of the statute, if a metabolite could be detected five years after ingesting a proscribed drug, a driver who tested positive for trace elements of a non-impairing substance could be prosecuted.”

The court was uncomfortable criminalizing legal conduct, as Arizona voters legalized medical marijuana use in a 2010 referendum. The majority also noted that certain legal drugs can share a metabolite with an illegal drug, which causes a problem with the drugged driving statute that automatically criminalizes the presence of the metabolite in the bloodstream.”Because Section 28-1381(A)(3) does not require the state to prove that a substance discovered in a driver’s body is actually metabolized from a proscribed drug, the state’s interpretation would permit prosecution if the discovered substance is a metabolite of a proscribed drug even if the proscribed drug was never ingested,” Justice Brutinel wrote. “These results are absurd and make the state’s argument untenable.”  The Supreme Court majority declared that the legislature must have meant that any amount of the impairing hydroxy-THC was a criminal act, not the substance that lingers in the bloodstream for thirty days.  Source: Arizona v. Shilgevorkyan (Arizona Supreme Court, 4/22/2014) and www.TheNewspaper.com.

The take-away from this decision is that Ohio needs to legalize marijuana so as to avoid massive injustice.  Ohio can punish stoned driving without making a de facto zero tolerance law that will do nothing but foster disrespect for the law and the people who enforce it.

 

Attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in the Miami Valley and throughout Ohio.  He has the credentials and the experience to win your case and has made himself Dayton’s choice for drunk driving defense. Contact Charles Rowland by phone at (937) 318-1384 or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (888-769-5263). If you need assistance after hours, call the 24/7 DUI Hotline at (937) 776-2671.  You can have DaytonDUI at your fingertips by downloading the DaytonDUI Android App or have DaytonDUI sent directly to your mobile device by texting DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500.  Follow DaytonDUI on Facebook, @DaytonDUI on Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Pheed and Pintrest or get RSS of the Ohio DUI blog.  You can email CharlesRowland@DaytonDUI.com or visit his office at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324.  “All I do is DUI defense.”

To learn about stoned driving contact me, or check these city-specific sites at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgSpringboro,Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville