Las Vegas Sun

April 16, 2014

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Nevada marijuana law upheld by high court

CARSON CITY – The Nevada Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by a California woman who claims a Nevada marijuana law is unconstitutional and cruel and unusual punishment because it interferes with her right to travel.

Shira Monet Garfinkel says she is a legal user of marijuana under California law.

But when she entered Washoe County, she was stopped and convicted of driving with a marijuana metabolite content greater than five nanograms per milliliter in her blood.

Garfinkel says her constitutional right to drive in Nevada is infringed upon.

The Supreme Court says the law does not stop Garfinkel from driving across Nevada. It merely prohibits driving after testing positive for marijuana in the blood or urine.

Garfinkel also argued there was no basis for a law that doesn’t show a person with marijuana in her blood is impaired to drive. She said it was not illegal in California.

The Supreme Court said driving is a privilege, not a constitutionally protected right and it upheld the validity of the law.

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  1. I agree driving under the influence should n ot be allowed but driving is a right not a privlege you have the right to life liberty and the prusit of hapiness. also if you take away a privlage nothing bad should happen but imagine if the "privlage" of driving was taken away from everyone in nevada can you imagine the chaos that would occur and the lack of giids being transported and such.
    Driving should be a right but useing that right should not harm anyone elses rights

  2. Studies show that marijuana does not effect driving the way alcohol does.

  3. "Monet Garfinkel says she is a legal user of marijuana under California law....."

    Wrong. It is against federal law to use marijuana, (with good reason) and if the feds had any gonads, they would do something about the california law.

  4. Driving is NOT a right, It is a PRIVILEGE. The Difference between the two is a Privilege is something someone earns & can be removed. A Right is something given at BIRTH & cannot be taken away.As far as her driving under the influence Book her for a DUI. She agreed to not drive under the influence and to obey ALL laws while driving in California as well as in other states. As stated in DMV manuals it is the responsibility of each MOTORIST to know the local laws where they drive. California prints it in several languages and if you can't read, then you don't get a license

  5. Driving is not a right, it is a privilege and should remain that way. If you abuse the privilege then you lose the that privilege.

    Studies have shown that the use of marijuana will slow your reaction time when driving.

    Being under the influence and driving is not and should not be legal.

    Another person here wasting tax payer money and taking up the courts time. She should have to pay all costs and expenses of her little fishing expedition.

  6. The worst thing thats going to happen to you driving while smoking pot is stopping at a stop sign and waiting for it to turn green.

    Me thinks this woman has been smoking too much.

  7. sslade -- crap spelling aside, you're right on.

    R_angel78, vegaslee -- you've both bought into the state's BS it may lawfully license a right, like this, like marriage. You've both approved the creeping expansion of the police state, a deadly enemy to the Bill of Rights and the very reason we gave the state authority over us.

    I'd also have to question how the cops got Ms. Garfinkel's bodily fluids for testing -- the article is silent on that point, and the Supreme Court's website doesn't show this case in its advance opinions.

    At stake here are the fundamental freedoms of raveling and free movement, liberties easily traced back at least eight centuries to the Magna Carta. I have to wonder how these justices took into account one's entitlement to use the public right of way for private use -- something that somehow got lost in all this bleating from the herd.

    "Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual." -- Thomas Jefferson, letter to Isaac H Tiffany (1819)

  8. oops -- I meant "At stake here are the fundamental freedoms of TRAVELING ..."

  9. The biggest problem with the drugged driving law in NV is that marijuana is fat soluble, hence it can stay in the blood system for 30 days or longer. Hard drugs such as meth, cocaine, and heroin are water soluble and are generally flushed out of the system within a few days. This is a major loophole the courts really need to address, especially for the thousands of medicinal marijuana patients who abide by the law. Unfortunately, the drugged driving law makes it impossible for them to legally drive, even a week after taking their medicine.

  10. sunnysideup -- again, how exactly did the cops get Garfinkel's blood for the test? It's hardly like blowing into their breathalyzers.

    In Rochin v. People of California, 342 U.S. 165 (1952), the U.S. Supreme Court held when the police forced vomiting for swallowed evidence, that invasion violated the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, and Rochin's conviction was overturned.

    "Where rights secured by the Constitution are involved, there can be no rulemaking or legislation which would abrogate them." -- Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 491 (1966)

  11. KillerB,

    You seem think everything is a right. The law says you don't have the right to kill me but by your understanding you have that right.

    In live there is rights and earned privileges, learn the difference.

    You are reading to many of your quotes but not using the common sense God gave a rock.

    Just because I don't agree with you does not mean I buy into anyones nonsense. Mostly yours.

  12. "You seem think everything is a right."

    vegaslee -- exactly what part of that Jefferson quote do you need explained? He knew something more about this than anyone else here. It's why I quote him so much.

    You just continue to keep checking with the current rulers about what you're allowed to do. I don't need them to live my life.

    "We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force." - Ayn Rand (1905-1982)

  13. Vegaslee, you should read the Thomas Jefferson quote killerB used.

    "Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others."

    Specifically, limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others, would prevent KillerB from having the right to kill you.

    You shouldn't talk about common sense unless you're willing to use it.

  14. Our NV Supreme Court does not have the brightest jurists, since the justices should have asked about the basis of the DUI laws, concerning Marijuana, that are established. In this regards the specific questions should have been that why are the laws not based only on the amount of THC in the system (and not residuals)? And what basis of facts, for example driving tests, etc., were used to establish the said laws? It is my opinion that NV's laws on DUI of Marijuana are based on arbitrary and irrelevant standards and not on experimental or solid science. Marijuana can be detected in a person's system for a very long time, for up to 60 days in say hair samples and 21 days in urine, versus almost any other compound, including heroin, LSD, alcohol, speed,etc., but that does not necessary correlate into the present detection limit standards according to NV statutes. What needs to be done, since medical marijuana is legal in NV, CA and many other states, is that a federal study, since Nevada is broke, needs to take place correlating the amount of THC to establish impairment standards. Yes, Marijuana needs to be made legal at the federal level. The joke of our courts is that driving is not a constitutional right, try getting along without a car in our state where mass transit is purely hypothetical in the majority of the our state. Additionally, NV is becoming a police state especially when the highway patrol has received new detector to detect certain common drugs, such as marijuana. For the readers' information there are many compounds, which are not listed on any registry, which are hundreds of times as strong as LSD, yet are not illegal; what about those compounds? In any case, if this woman was driving improperly, then she should have been stopped and ticketed.

  15. "...Marijuana needs to be made legal at the federal level..."

    Mobashir -- although I agree with the spirit of your post, I have to disagree.

    First, all things marijuana/THC needs to be decriminalized -- that means the laws need to just be repealed across the board, state and federal. Study up on this -- the absolute stupidity of criminalization is shown by 1) growing hemp is criminalized also, and 2) it's a WEED. As in literally.

    Next, criminal law is primarily a state function, not federal. The feds need to get out of the crime business and reined back to the limits the federal Constitution puts on all things federal. That's what the Tenth Amendment was about -- the feds have usurped the states' sovereignty in a big way.

    Last, government at every level has amply demonstrated it is incapable of self-reform. That is a function of the body politick/We the People. And We as a body just can't be made interested in that. So long as we act like livestock we deserve to be treated as such. I know this first hand -- try reforming an area of government as a citizen advocate. The legislature is the friendliest place. You can count on a state agency, even one with quasi status (like the state Bar) to come after you to protect their turf. You'll learn fast about both the characteristics of mankind as a herd, and that old adage "no good deed goes unpunished."

    "The shepherd drives the wolf from the sheep's throat, for which the sheep thanks the shepherd as a liberator, while the wolf denounces him for the same act as the destroyer of liberty." -- Abraham Lincoln, Address at Sanitary Fair, Baltimore, Maryland (Apr. 18, 1864)