Medical Marijuana and the “Trace Law”: Why Treat Cheech Worse Than Chong?

DCBA Brief April 2015

Mark M. Trapp, a Member of the Firm in the Labor and Employment and Litigation practices, in the firm’s Chicago office, authored an article in DCBA Brief, titled “Medical Marijuana and the ‘Trace Law’: Why Treat Cheech Worse Than Chong?”

Following is an excerpt (see below for a PDF of the full article):

The enactment of the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act (“Cannabis Act”) has created two classes of drivers in Illinois – those who are legally permitted to drive with cannabis in their system, and those who are not. The unequal treatment sanctioned under the new law goes so far as to apply two different burdens of proof for driving under the influence, depending on the preferential status of the accused. Under current law, the State assumes authorized medical marijuana users are not impaired, but presumes the impairment of all other cannabis users. This unequal treatment may violate the equal protection clauses of both the Illinois and United States constitutions, because “[w]hen the law lays an unequal hand on those who have committed intrinsically the same quality of offense, equal protection is denied.”

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