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Can a Washington Municipal Judge Order You Not to Use Marijuana Because You Get an Alcohol Related DUI?

Judges have the power under RCW 10.21.030 to order someone not to use medical marijuana when they have a DUI pending or are on probation for a DUI. This is true even if the DUI charge did not involve marijuana. The reason is because any marijuana (medical or otherwise) is still illegal under federal law, and marijuana in Washington is not a "prescription drug" as defined by federal law. Sometimes judge do allow medical marijuana use if a doctor will explain why it is medically necessary. Some jurisdictions, such as the municipal court of Bellingham, Washington, have set out stringent requirements for a person who wishes to use medical marijuana when they have a DUI pending. The Bellingham court decisions provide:

The Court will consider any request for a medical marijuana exemption from a defendant on a probation calendar or domestic violence calendar, to be noted by the defendant on seeking an exemption for defendant’s attorney. The Court will not grant such a medical marijuana exemption unless all of the following conditions are met by sufficient proof: (1) The defendant just clearly establish that he or she has been diagnosed as suffering from a severe medical illness or injury such as cancer or glaucoma, (2) the defendant must clearly establish that no other form of medicine or treatment will alleviate the defendant’s suffering, (3) the defendant must clearly establish that the use of medical marijuana is not inconsistent with the defendant’s court ordered treatment, (4) the defendant must clearly establish that he or she will not drive under the influence of medical marijuana, and (5) the defendant must clearly establish that the defendant’s use of marijuana is consistent with state laws. Simple proof of medical marijuana certificate or prescription is not sufficient to justify an exemption.

Other jurisdictions, such as the courts of Spokane or Cheney where we typically practice, have less formalized policies but are still reluctant to allow marijuana pretrial.