In November 2016, Maine voters legalized recreational marijuana use by passing the “Marijuana Legalization Act” (also known as ballot “Question One”). In the wake of the new legislation, many people have concerns about marijuana users on the roadways. But how, if at all, does marijuana decriminalization affect Maine OUI (operating under the influence) law?
In short, it has no effect. Here’s why.
In Maine, it’s illegal to operate or attempt to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of marijuana, or any other intoxicant. A person is “under the influence” if, as the result of ingesting an intoxicant, the person’s “mental or physical faculties are impaired, however slightly or to any extent.” (Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 29-A, § § 2401(6), 2411(1-A) (2016); State v. Flint, 12 A.3d 54 (2011).)
So, anyone who drives while impaired by marijuana (as defined above) can be convicted of an OUI. It doesn’t matter that the driver may have ingested marijuana legally.