Missouri Marijuana and Driving - What Are the Laws?
With the legalization of recreational marijuana in Missouri, the landscape of drug-related laws and regulations has undergone a significant transformation. As individuals embrace the newfound freedom to use marijuana, it's crucial to understand the laws pertaining to marijuana and driving.
In this blog post, we'll explore Missouri's stance on marijuana use while operating a vehicle, the absence of specific THC limits, and the importance of considering medical marijuana as a viable alternative for those with health needs.
The Missouri Constitution and Marijuana Use
Article 14 of the Missouri Constitution sets the tone for marijuana use and driving in the state. It explicitly prohibits the consumption of marijuana while operating a motor vehicle. This prohibition extends to all forms of marijuana use, including smoking, vaping, and edibles. The primary aim of this constitutional provision is to prevent impaired driving due to marijuana use.
It's important to note that Article 14 does not establish specific THC limits or levels that would indicate impairment. Unlike alcohol, where a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level is used as a standard measure of impairment (0.08% in most states), marijuana does not have an equivalent benchmark. This distinction creates challenges for law enforcement when assessing impairment behind the wheel.
The Role of Municipal Ordinances
In addition to the state-level regulations, various municipalities in Missouri have implemented their own ordinances related to marijuana use in vehicles. For instance, in Springfield, a municipal ordinance prohibits adults from consuming marijuana in a motor vehicle. These local ordinances are designed to provide additional clarity and enforcement mechanisms at the community level.
The Challenge of Determining Impairment
One of the central issues surrounding marijuana use and driving in Missouri is the absence of a defined limit for THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive compound in marijuana. In contrast to several other states like Illinois, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, and Washington, which have established specific THC limits for drivers, Missouri currently lacks such regulations.
Missouri Attorney Dan Viets points out the challenges of establishing THC limits in the state, citing that the Missouri Constitution prohibits the enactment of such laws. This legal constraint sets Missouri apart from other states with specific THC limits for drivers.
Viets also highlights the limited scientific understanding of THC levels and their correlation with impairment, which has led to some states repealing their THC limits. This challenge underscores the complexity of addressing marijuana-related impairment behind the wheel.
Law Enforcement's Approach
The Missouri State Highway Patrol plays a crucial role in enforcing the laws surrounding impaired driving, including marijuana use. Corporal Sam Carpenter emphasizes that impaired driving, often referred to as Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), extends beyond alcohol and includes any substance that impairs an individual's ability to operate a vehicle safely.
To identify impairment, law enforcement officers rely on their training and expertise. Some troopers are designated as drug recognition experts and are equipped to identify signs of impairment caused by various substances, including marijuana. These experts play a vital role in assessing drivers suspected of impairment during traffic stops.
The Focus on Safe Driving
Dan Viets underscores the importance of concentrating on an individual's ability to drive safely rather than solely on the cause of impairment. In his view, the source of impairment is less significant than the impairment itself. This approach allows law enforcement to address impaired driving comprehensively, encompassing various substances that may affect a driver's capabilities.
The Role of Medical Marijuana
While much of the conversation has centered around recreational marijuana, it's vital to acknowledge the significance of medical marijuana for individuals dealing with specific health issues. Medical marijuana offers tailored solutions for a wide spectrum of medical conditions, providing specialized strains and products to cater to individual health needs.
One noteworthy advantage of medical marijuana is its capacity to provide individuals with access to regulated and quality-controlled products via state-licensed dispensaries. This guarantees that patients receive safe and effective treatments precisely suited to their unique medical conditions.
Possessing a medical marijuana card also serves as a legal shield for those who rely on marijuana for medical purposes, showcasing their compliance with state regulations, a critical aspect when navigating the legal landscape. Furthermore, medical marijuana allows for personalized treatment plans, addressing a wide array of health conditions, such as chronic pain, anxiety, epilepsy, and more.
Patients can access strains and products meticulously crafted to alleviate their symptoms and enhance their overall quality of life. For those requiring higher THC levels as part of their treatment, a medical marijuana card becomes indispensable, as it grants access to products with elevated THC concentrations, ensuring that patients receive the full therapeutic benefits necessary for their well-being.
Obtaining a Medical Marijuana Card
If you believe that medical marijuana is the right choice for your health and well-being, obtaining a medical marijuana card in Missouri is a structured process:
Qualification: Consult a qualified healthcare provider to determine if your medical condition qualifies for medical marijuana treatment.
Medical Assessment: During the consultation, your healthcare provider will evaluate your medical history and symptoms to determine if you meet the criteria for a medical marijuana card.
Documentation: Your healthcare provider will complete the necessary documentation, which is usually submitted to the state's medical marijuana program.
Application: Complete the application process, including providing personal information and paying any required fees.
Approval: Once your application is approved, you will receive your medical marijuana card, granting you access to medical dispensaries and regulated products.
Understanding Missouri's laws and regulations regarding marijuana use and driving is essential for all residents. As the state adapts to the legalization of recreational marijuana and navigates the complexities of impairment assessment, it's crucial to prioritize safe driving practices.
For those with specific health needs, medical marijuana is a viable alternative. Possessing a medical marijuana card provides legal protection, access to personalized treatments, and higher THC levels when required.
Whether you're considering medical marijuana or recreational use, your choices can significantly impact your well-being and your ability to exercise safe and responsible driving practices. Stay informed, make informed decisions, and prioritize safe driving for yourself and others on Missouri's roads.
Get Your Medical Marijuana Card in Missouri Today!
Although marijuana is now legal recreationally in Missouri, you should still get your medical card. If you have any questions, just give us a call!
There are so many benefits to having your medical marijuana card in a recreational state, including being responsible for less in taxes, saving at dispensaries, and higher possession laws.
If you don’t already have your medical marijuana card, we can help! Our doctors are standing by to take you through a quick and easy evaluation to see if you qualify. During your evaluation, they will be happy to answer all your questions about how cannabis may be able to help with your anxiety or any other medical conditions.
Schedule an appointment with a marijuana professional online or by giving us a call at
(877) 303-3117 to talk to a patient support representative.
Doctors Who Care.
Relief You Can Trust.
At Missouri Marijuana Card, our mission is to help everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce the stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.
Call us at (877) 303-3117, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting the relief you can trust today!
Check out Missouri Marijuana Card’s Blog to keep up to date on the latest medical marijuana news, tips, and information.