For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 6

known. So, before I discuss the legal issues of our
new Medical Marijuana Act in relation to our DUI
laws, I believe a quick lesson in the pharmacology
of marijuana and the use of proper terminology is
in order. A wise lawyer taught me long ago that
when using science to defend people charged
with crimes, always use the right terminology
or the government witnesses will turn improper
vocabulary around on you and make you look
bad even if they are saying absolute scientific
garbage on the stand.
Remember, marijuana is a plant and our
DUID laws do not cover marijuana. So, don't say
marijuana was found in your client's blood. What
was found was THC and its metabolites. Whether
your client is a medical marijuana patient or not,
it is still illegal to have any amount of THC or
its metabolites in blood11 so long as a minimum
detection level has been met or exceeded.12 The
relevant compounds we are dealing with are:
Delta-9-THC, 11-Hydroxy-Delta-9-THC (THC-OH)
(Hydroxy), and 11-Nor-9-Carboxy-Delta-9-THC
(THC-COOH)(Carboxy).13

6

For The Defense

l

Vol. 3, Issue 1

When marijuana is smoked, vaped, or eaten,
the first compound that is released into the
bloodstream is Delta-9-THC. Delta-9-THC is the
pharmacologically active compound in marijuana
and it has a very fast dose response curve.14 In
layman's terms, it is what hits you right away and
gets you high when marijuana is smoked, vaped
or eaten. (Although when marijuana is eaten it is
a more gradual high than when smoked or vaped
but an in-depth discussion of that is for another
day.) Once Delta-9-THC enters the bloodstream,
it is broken down quickly into Hydroxy which
is an active metabolite but not nearly as
pharmacologically active as Delta-9-THC.15
Hydroxy breaks down rapidly into Carboxy which
again has zero pharmacological effect.16 Here is
a practice pointer. Barring any analytical testing
errors, if Hydroxy is present in the bloodstream
that is a clear indicator of recent usage.17
As I said before, the Medical Marijuana Act
is setting up medical marijuana patients to
become caught up in our criminal justice system
because THC is still being listed as a Schedule I


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018

Contents
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 1
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 2
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - Contents
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 4
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 5
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 6
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 7
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 8
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 9
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 10
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 11
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 12
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 13
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 14
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 15
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 16
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 17
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 18
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 19
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 20
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 21
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 22
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 23
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 24
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 25
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 26
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 27
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 28
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 29
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 30
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 31
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 32
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 33
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 34
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 35
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 36
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 37
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 38
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 39
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 40
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 41
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 42
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 43
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 44
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 45
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 46
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 47
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 48
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 49
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 50
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 51
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 52
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 53
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 54
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 55
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 56
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