SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Idaho motorists can still drive high on marijuana, a
federal appeals court ruled Thursday, though state lawmakers are moving to
change that.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stood by its earlier ruling that
marijuana users can drive legally in the state as long as their driving isn't
erratic and they can pass a field sobriety test.

Prosecutors had asked the three-judge panel of the San Francisco-based 9th
U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to rehear their case against an Idaho man
arrested in 1998 for driving under the influence of marijuana.

But the court upheld its decision that while it is illegal to drive under the
influence of alcohol or narcotics, Idaho law doesn't list marijuana as a
narcotic.

The appeals court's ruling overturned an impaired driving conviction against
Matthew Patzer, 21, who was stopped for a broken tailgate light in 1998 and
admitted to police he'd smoked marijuana at a party.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Fica in Idaho said the government may ask
the U.S. Supreme Court hear the case.

AP-NY-03-22-02 0112EST


.c The Associated Press