April 4, 2009 By Wallin & Klarich

Department Of Motor Vehicles Officials Say California Drivers Cannot Lose Their License Just Because They Have A Medical Marijuana Prescription

Medical marijuana prescription holders are breathing a little easier after the Department of Motor Vehicles issues a training memo which states California drivers cannot lose their license just because they have a medical marijuana prescription. A revised Department of Motor Vehicles training memo instructs agency staff to treat medical marijuana like any other prescription drug when considering whether to renew a driver’s license. The DMV claims that the revisions do not represent a new policy but merely put into writing practices already in place. California DMV license matters regarding medical conditions can be complicated, especially when your driving privileges are being compromised.

However medical marijuana advocates claim that drivers were being denied renewal of their license solely on the basis of holding a medical marijuana prescription. Americans for Safe Access, a medical marijuana advocacy group, sued the DMV in November on behalf of 53-year-old women who said the DMV refused to renew her license because she was a medical marijuana patient. Her attorney said DMV documents cited his client’s marijuana use as the reason for denying her license, even though she has had a clean driving record for 37 years and was not accused or convicted of any drug crime in California whatsoever.

The DMV memo however still gives the agency leeway to deny licenses to drivers addicted to drugs or alcohol.

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