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Every Pa. medical marijuana patient who drives is a DUI target. This lawmaker wants to change that

The state representative from Philadelphia admits he is breaking the law.

“I’m literally driving under the influence virtually every day,” said State Rep. Chris Rabb (D., Philadelphia). That’s because Rabb, like nearly 200,000 Pennsylvanians, is a state-approved medical marijuana patient.

Rabb takes his cannabis before bed. He is adamant that he doesn’t do it to get high. By the time he wakes up refreshed in the morning, he doesn’t even feel it.

But tiny amounts of THC, the psychoactive compound in cannabis, can remain in the blood for up to a month. And state law has a zero-tolerance limit for THC. Technically, that means Rabb is driving under the influence whenever he gets behind the wheel.

“What’s important to note is that that ‘influence’ does not impair me,” Rabb said. “I’m not driving recklessly. But that doesn’t matter to most police officers. Law enforcement has a dim view of any legalized cannabis use.”

Rabb serves the 200th Legislative District, which includes Mount Airy, in the State Assembly.

On Tuesday, Rabb introduced a bill to modify the existing state DUI statute. Currently the state forbids driving if there is “any amount” of a Schedule 1 controlled substance in the blood. [Read more at The Philadelphia Inquirer]

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