CBD Is Legal In Michigan!

A new law will keep CBD oil from being regulated under Michigan’s Medical Marijuana Laws.

Detroit Marijuana Lawyer

If residents of Michigan don’t already know, the recreational use of marijuana was legalized a few months ago! While there still some kinks to work out in the law, The Michigan Law Firm, PC’s blog discussed these new Michigan recreational marijuana laws.

With the interest in marijuana growing every day, many consumers are becoming more curious about what is and isn’t marijuana and the various forms it comes in. These include cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), two natural compounds found in plants for the Cannabis genus. CBD is found in extractions from the hemp plant and is non-intoxicating while THC is the psychoactive compound that gives users the high sensation.

On December 28, 2018, Public Act 642, which clarifies that CBD oil and other products extracted from hemp fall under the scope of industrial hemp, not marijuana, was passed into law. Rep. Steven Johnson who sponsored the legislation stated, “CBD oil derived from hemp doesn’t get you high...It contains no more than 0.3 percent Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). But the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs decided last summer to start classifying it the same way they do marijuana, which contains 5 to 35 percent THC.”

The Detroit Free Press informs readers that in a few weeks, effective March 28, 2019, CBD oils will be able to be used by Michiganders recreationally and buyers will not require a medical marijuana card! Now that they can buy it, people may be wondering what they can do with CBD. Well, CBD has recently found its way into many products such as pills, creams, oils, edibles, and even drinks. CBD oils are also commonly used by individuals for health benefits and pain relief. According to Medical News Today, “people take or apply CBD to treat a variety of symptoms,” including, reducing inflammation, preventing acne, and as an antidepressant. Ale Mary’s in Royal Oak, Michigan even served a CBD drink on the menu last month.

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However, just because CBD doesn’t cause people to get high, doesn’t mean it can’t harm people in other ways. Major health agencies like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), have stated that additional CBD testing and research is necessary. CBD might counteract or negatively react to certain medications or some people might just be allergic to it! A study conducted by the National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health (NCBI) published a study detailing the side effects of CBD oils. Some of these side effects include tiredness, diarrhea, and changes in appetite, and weight. Another study published by NCBI states that, “Without independent testing (e.g. USP certification) of CBD products for content and purity, as well as bioavailability testing of specific products, uncertainty surrounds the use of available CBD products in routine clinical settings.”

So, people should talk to their doctor or do some research before ordering that CBD drink on the bar menu or buying the CBD lotion on display at Sephora!


Medical or Not, Marijuana May Impair Drivers

In Michigan, more than half of medical marijuana users have admitted to having driven under the influence of marijuana within two hours of using it.

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This information was found in a study conducted by the University of Michigan Addiction Center and published in the Drug & Alcohol Dependence Journal. Researchers noted that roughly 270,000 people have state approval to use medical marijuana for pain, nausea, epilepsy, Alzheimer's disease, and for other medical reasons in the State of Michigan. 790 medical cannabis users in Michigan were surveyed and it was found that 56% reported driving within two hours of using cannabis and 51% reported driving while, "a little high" and 21% reported driving while, "very high." 1 in 5 individuals even admitted that they have operated a vehicle while being under the influence of marijuana once in the past six months.

Why is driving under the influence of marijuana a bad thing? After all, it’s prescribed by doctors for suffering patients! Well, according to the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), “marijuana dulls the perceptual and cognitive abilities required for safely operating a motor vehicle.” Also, according to the Center for Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC), “driving while impaired by any substance, including marijuana, is dangerous. Marijuana, like alcohol, negatively affects a number of skills required for safe driving.”

In July 2018, WWMT Kalamazoo reported that 2 newlywed Michiganders were killed in a car crash when a driver sped through a stop sign and crashed into their vehicle, pushing into another lane, causing them to be struck by a third vehicle. 2 of the 3 occupants of the vehicle involved in the car accident had medical marijuana prescriptions. This doesn’t mean that the at-fault driver was under the influence of marijuana but, “Investigators said the medical marijuana cards found at the scene of the crash complicate their case and the charges the at-fault driver will face.” Allegan County Sheriff Capt. Chris Kuhn, believes investigations can become very puzzling for law enforcement and the establishment of testing procedures or blood levels to suspect the impairment of a driver. “Even with a medical marijuana card, it is illegal to drive with active levels of the psychoactive chemical found in marijuana in your system, but there is no legal limit to say what’s considered, high,” Kuhn said.

No tests currently exist for law enforcement to measure marijuana impairment of drivers, so field sobriety tests have been adapted from their use in detecting alcohol-impaired drivers. Research conducted in the HLDI study suggests however that field sobriety tests designed to assess alcohol-impaired drivers are only moderately successful at detecting impairment from marijuana.. The study also suggests that, “this ineffective enforcement may encourage drivers to engage in driving under the influence of marijuana, because they think they can get away with it.”

While the presence of marijuana initially complicated the investigation of the fatal newlyweds car crash, toxicology reports later uncovered that the at-fault driver had both alcohol and marijuana in his system while operating his vehicle.

Detroit Marijuana Lawyer

Over 50% of Michigan drivers have been driving while under the influence of prescribed medical marijuana, according to the University of Michigan Addiction Center. Although the causal link between marijuana use and car crash risk remains unproven, the consistent pattern of findings in the CDC’s research suggests that car crash rates do increase when drivers use marijuana. Driving in Michigan is dangerous enough with all the potholes and poor road conditions causing car accidents, so adding drugs into the driving mix makes car crashes even more likely to occur. Just as people know they shouldn’t drink and drive, they should know not to smoke and drive, even if they’re using marijuana for medical purposes.


Medical marijuana has been prescribed to over 270,000 individuals in the State of Michigan, and now, as of January 2019, Michigan has become the first state in the Midwest to legalize marijuana for recreational use for individuals 21 and older. While many citizens are overjoyed at this new legislation, the legalization of marijuana may lead to more impaired drivers and more car crashes. The Michigan Law Firm, PC, helps victims who have been injured in a medical marijuana car crashes, and help to identify and receive any compensation they may be entitled to under Michigan law. Contact us at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation regarding your car crash.

Study Shows: Teens And Parents Unaware Of Drugged Driving Dangers

Michigan Drugged Driving Lawyer

A new study published in Forbes raises concerns about how much knowledge drivers have when it comes to drugged driving. A recent study regarding teens and marijuana use found that one-third of teens think it’s legal to drive while under the influence of marijuana in states where marijuana is legalized. While this could be written off as teenage ignorance, 27% of parents surveyed thought the same thing. To be clear, it is absolutely not legal to drive after consuming marijuana.

2,800 teenagers and 1,000 parents were surveyed and the results of the study highlight a common phenomenon that can be seen across the United States - drivers are well aware of the dangers that come with drunk driving, but the consequences of drugged driving are much less clear. Driving after consuming drugs just isn’t seen as being as dangerous as drunk driving! 88% of teens said driving under the influence of alcohol is dangerous, but only 63% said the same of marijuana. The surveyed parents rendered similar results, with 93% recognizing the dangers of alcohol, but only 76% recognized the dangers of marijuana.

While drivers may not be as informed about the dangers of drugged driving, they are still very real. According to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA), 43% of fatally injured drivers in 2015 tested positive for drugs. This is higher than the 37% of fatally injured drivers found to have alcohol in their system. Of those drugged drivers, 35.6% tested positive for marijuana. According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), in 2016, 11.8 million people aged 16 or older drove under the influence of illicit drugs. Men were found more likely to drive under the influence of drugs than women, and drivers ages 18-25 were more likely to drive drugged than drivers 26 and older.

Marijuana, in particular, can slow reaction time, impair judgement of time and distance, and decrease coordination, which is why driving under the influence or marijuana risks car accidents. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, driving under the influence of marijuana can also lead to lane weaving and altered attention to the road. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) shows that 2015 saw a 47% rise in the number of drivers testing positive for marijuana. Driving while under the influence of marijuana increases the driver’s chances of being involved in a car accident by 25%.

Detroit DUI Lawyer

While it is clear that drugged driving is an issue, it is also clear that much more research is still needed. The NHTSA admits that they, “still have much to learn about how illegal drugs and prescription medicines affect highway safety.” This is likely because of how difficult it is to gather data on drugged driving accidents. Currently, there is no good road side test (such as a breathalyzer) for drug use. (Michigan even tried to implement a roadside drug testing pilot last year, but progress has been delayed.) On top of that, there are hundreds of drugs that drivers could be using, and they all vary in how much they impair the driver and how likely they are to cause a car crash. It is also common to find that drivers have consumed a combination of different drugs and alcohol, making testing difficult. Often, police won’t even test for drugs if the driver’s BAC has already been found to be over the legal limit. All of this means that further research and protocols are needed when it comes to collecting data on drugged driving.

Better collection methods and more data are clearly needed in order to fully understand the dangers of drugged driving, but there is more than enough data to know that drugged driving is dangerous. As more states move to legalize marijuana, there could be confusion on this issue when there really shouldn’t be. While using the drug may be legal, driving after using it is not. Like alcohol, marijuana and other drugs, impair the driver, not only putting the driver at risk of a car accident, but also the lives of other people in the car, other people on the road, and innocent bystanders.


Drugged driving is illegal and very dangerous. Driving under the influence puts the driver and others on the road, at risk of being involved in a car crash. If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident due to a driver under the influence of drugs or alcohol, call The Michigan Law Firm, PC at 844.4MI.FIRM, for a free legal consultation.

Drugged Driving Accidents Increase In Michigan

Michigan Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer

Now that opioid addiction has been declared a national epidemic, it should come as no surprise that drugged driving has increased as well. Although drunk driving is still an issue that many police officers and legislators are combating nationwide, the increase in social acceptance of using marijuana and prescribed medications is making driving under the influence of drugs hard to combat. Statistics from the Michigan State Police (MSP) speak for themselves with "fatal drunken-driving crashes across the state down 36%, while those caused by people impaired by drugs have risen 263%."

"Drunk driving is no longer socially acceptable, but drugged driving is socially acceptable because people don't think it's a problem...I fault the pharmacists and the doctors. They do not do a good job of educating their patients about these drugs," said Candace Lightner, the founder of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and We Save Lives.

Drugged Driving Statistics

According to a report released by the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility and the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), 43% of motorists that have been fatally injured as a result of a car accident are known to have tested positive for drugs in their system. This number that is surprisingly higher than the 37% of drivers that have tested positive for alcohol in their system after a fatal car crash.

Drugged Driving Car Crash Lawyer

Another scary fact, is that unlike drunk driving, drugged driving has been shown to occur at any time of the day, not just at night or on the weekends, like most predictable drunk driving accidents. According to the Detroit Free Press, The University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute collected data from 2011 to 2015 in order to prove there was a correlation between the time of day a drugged driving car crash took place and the results of the driver operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs. 

"Alcohol-involved crashes are very concentrated late at night and on weekends when bars close, but drug-involved crashes seem to occur at all times of day." said Carol Flannagan, a research associate professor at The Transportation Research Institute.

Drugged driving has grown to be such a major issue on the roads in Michigan that a roadside drug testing pilot has been planned to roll out before the end of this year in 5 undisclosed counties. The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC blog previously discussed the drug testing pilot program.

Michigan Roadside Drug Testing Pilot

Since drugged driving is so hard to convict due to most drivers using drugs that were prescribed to them, Michigan law has allowed for a driver to be legally persecuted if a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) can prove that the drug(s) impaired their driving. The roadside drug testing pilot will only allow for state approved DREs to identify drivers who may be driving while under the influence of an abused substance and request an oral sample that will be sent off to an independent lab to be tested. If a driver is found guilty, legal repercussions include but are not limited to 15 years in prison, community service, and thousands of dollars in fines and legal fees, according to The Michigan Secretary of State (SOS). The reason behind such harsh punishments is to drive home the seriousness of driving under the influence of drugs (DUID).

Detroit DUI Lawyer

The roadside drug testing pilot was influenced in part by a drugged driving car crash took place in Escanaba, Michigan involving a truck driver under the influence of THC, a chemical often found in marijuana. The high driver crashed into an elderly couple,Thomas and Barbara Swift, both 73, on the highway. Thomas died at the scene of the crime whereas Barbara died 3 days later succumbing to her injuries in a hospital. Their son, Thomas Swift, proposed a bill in memory of his parents and Governor Rick Snyder later passed the bill as law.  A second case that highlighted the severity of drugged driving made international news after a driver in a pickup sped erratically in Kalamazoo, Michigan and killed 5 bicyclists before police could arrest him. The driver was identified as Thomas Pickett Jr., 50, and was found not to have alcohol in his system as expected, but methamphetamines, painkillers, and muscle relaxers. He was charged with 14 felonies and is facing trial this year.

With data showing that drugged driving happens throughout the day coupled with the knowledge that 10 million Americans, 12 years and older, have admitted in a 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health that they have driven under the influence of drugs, it is enough to scare anyone away from driving. However, people should have faith that the roadside drug testing pilot, once implemented, will hopefully decrease and deter the number of car crashes caused by people driving under the influence of drugs or alchohol. Then, Michiganders will only have to worry about horrible Michigan winters cuasing them road trouble.


It is sad that medications meant to help people handle their illness are oftentimes abused, not only by the prescribed user, but possibly by loved ones too. Until pharmaceutical companies, patients, and lawmakers can come together to figure out how to properly handle this growing epidemic, drugged driving accidents will continue to be a problem motorists face on the roadways. Have you been hit by a drunk driver or a drugged driver? Call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM today. With our legal team by your side, you can hope to receive any compensation you may be entitled to under Michigan law.  

Michigan Roadside Drug Testing Pilot Delayed

Rick Snyder signed a bill in June 2016, instructing Michigan police to create a roadside drug testing pilot program in five counties in Michigan. The criteria for picking the five counties will be based on the number of impaired driving crashes, impaired driver arrests, and the number of Drug Recognition Experts (DRE) in the county. 

Rick Snyder Roadside Drug Testing Lawyer

Why Was The Bill Passed?

The bill was signed because of an incident which took place in Escanaba, Michigan. A tractor-trailer driven by Harley Davidson Durocher, ran a red light and killed Barbara and Thomas Swift. Durocher, was sentenced to 5 years in prison after toxicology reports showed that he had THC, a chemical usually found in marijuana, in his system. After the death of his parents, Brian Swift contacted the Republican senator of Escanaba, Tom Casperson, to create a better way to catch and charge drivers under the influence of drugs. Thus the roadside drug testing pilot came to fruition.

What Does The Roadside Drug Testing Pilot Include?

"The five-county pilot program will be used to help determine accuracy and reliability of the tests." Gov. Rick Snyder said in a press release after signing the bill. 

Reports from the Office of Highway Safety Planning listed Michigan as having 99 certified DRE officers covering 37 counties. Michigan State Police spokeswoman Shannon Banner reassured the public that DRE officers have to undergo “highly specialized training” in order to identify people who are drug impaired. Banner also insisted that the test will only be administered by DRE officers who are employed by the state, county, and municipal agencies involved in the pilot. 

Michigan Drunk Driving Car Crash Lawyer

Banner told MLive that, "In order to receive an oral fluid test, a driver must be suspected of impaired driving -- there will be no random traffic stops or traffic checkpoints. The police officer making the traffic stop must follow established policies and procedures and have reasonable suspicion to make a traffic stop."

If someone suspected of having drugs in their system while driving refuses to take the oral fluid test, they will acquire a civil infraction, as the new law states. During the course of the year that the pilot program will be running, an independent lab will conduct and confirm the testing to ensure the accuracy of the test kits, along with its handling.  

Who Opposes The Drug Testing Pilot? 

The main opposing force for the bill is Attorney Neil Rockind of Rockind Law, who argues that the bill is setting a dangerous precedent for Michigan motorists to be treated as guinea pigs. Rockind said, “The criminal justice system wants to take science and turn it into a fast, easy utility...science is neither fast nor easy...People are not guinea pigs. No citizen should be the subject of a test program when their liberty and way of life are on the line."

Is The Pilot Underway? 

In an article concerning the rise in traffic fatalities in Michigan, Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning Director Michael L. Prince said, "Some trends are emerging, especially with regard to drug-impaired traffic deaths, and our office is aligning resources accordingly. More resources are available to train law enforcement officers in the detection of drug-impaired drivers and OHSP is continuing federal funding for impaired driving traffic patrols throughout the year."

Michigan Drunk Driving Car Accident Lawyer

Prince's comment seems to imply that the roadside drug testing pilot is still under delay even though it was rumored to start in Spring of 2017. In spite of this pilot being able to prevent or at least bring awareness to the 10 million people who choose to drive while on drugs nationwide, the Michigan State Police have yet to finalize the five counties chosen for the pilot. 

When the program is put into effect however, hopefully the number of car accidents involving drug and alcohol use will go down. In the meanwhile, drivers should be extra cautious on the road. Keep clear of drivers who are not following road rules, in order to avoid becoming involved in a car crash. On the other hand, if drivers plan to drink, they should find an alternative way to get home that doesn't involve putting themselves behind the wheel, so they don't harm other innocent drivers.


Once it's in effect, the roadside drug test pilot could possibly cut down the number of accidents and thereby prevent deaths and serious injuries caused by drivers under the influence. If you or someone you know has been in an accident caused by an impaired driver, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Victims of drunk driving accidents deserve an attorney who will stand by them and fight for their rights. Call us today, 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.