How Did Marijuana Legalization Affect Oregon DUII Law?

Decriminalization of recreational marijuana use had no impact on Oregon DUII law.

In November 2014, Oregon voters legalized recreational marijuana use by passing “Ballot Measure 91.” After the new legislation was passed, many people had concerns about impaired marijuana users on the roadways. But how, if at all, did marijuana decriminalization affect Oregon DUII (driving under the influence of intoxicants) law?

In short, it had no effect. And here’s why.

In Oregon, it’s illegal to drive a vehicle while under the influence of marijuana, or any other controlled substance. You’re considered “under the influence” if your “physical or mental facilities are adversely affected to a noticeable or perceptible degree.” (Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 813.010 (2016); State v. Stroup, 147 Or.App. 118 (1997).)

So, anyone who drives while impaired by marijuana (as defined above) can be convicted of a DUII. It doesn’t matter that the driver may have ingested marijuana legally.  

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