Can Consent Be Given While High?

Photo of a young couple cozying up on a couch.

The issue of whether someone can give or get consent while under the influence of marijuana has cropped up since the legalization of marijuana in Minnesota. This is a subject that demands closer legal scrutiny as people are now free to use marijuana recreationally for medical purposes and personal enjoyment. But what happens if one or both people are high on marijuana and engage in sexual activity?

Understanding the Legal Implications

The Influence of Intoxication on Consent

Intoxication can impair an individual's judgment, decision-making abilities, and understanding of the consequences of their actions, which can present legal implications in certain situations, particularly when it comes to giving consent.

“Consent” means words or overt actions by a person indicating a freely given present agreement to perform a particular sexual act with the actor. A person who is either “mentally incapacitated” or “physically helpless” cannot legally consent to any sexual act under the law.

“Mentally incapacitated” means that a person is under the influence of any substance or substances to a degree that renders them incapable of consenting or incapable of appreciating, understanding, or controlling the person’s conduct. That means if a person is so high on marijuana that they cannot appreciate, understand, or control the person’s conduct, they cannot legally consent to sexual activity.

“Physically helpless” means that a person is (a) asleep or not conscious, (b) unable to withhold consent or withdraw consent because of a physical condition, or (c) unable to communicate nonconsent and the condition is known or reasonably should have been know to the actor. So, if someone is high on marijuana, and it results in them falling asleep or losing consciousness, or they’re too high to communicate consent, then legally, they cannot consent.

Related Reading

Minnesota Legalizes Recreational Marijuana for Adults Over 21

It’s also important to keep in mind that the legality of marijuana use is still a new development in Minnesota, and the law will evolve. As with any intoxicating substance, the law must continue to adapt and ensure everyone understands their rights and obligations when under the influence. Anyone who is under the influence of marijuana and is unsure about their legal rights should consult with a knowledgeable attorney. An attorney can evaluate the situation, advise on the legal implications of your actions, and provide legal solutions.

Call Minnesota's Premier Law Firm for the Help You Need

While the legalization of marijuana has opened up new avenues of enjoyment, it's essential to understand there could be legal consequences if not used responsibly. Remember, you can still give consent while high on marijuana, but the essential factor is that your consent is freely given. If you are unsure of your legal rights under this new law, our team at Caplan & Tamburino Law Firm, P.A. is ready to help.

We’re available 24/7 to offer you a FREE case evaluation. Call (612) 444-5020 now.

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