Lawmakers look to make marijuana use while driving illegal

When voters decriminalized recreational marijuana use Nov. 8, they also made it illegal to have an open container of pot in a vehicle.

But ambiguity in the law may still allow for people to light up while driving, and two state lawmakers are looking to close that loophole.

Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, and Evan Low, D-Campbell, introduced legislation that would prohibit smoking or ingesting marijuana while driving, making it either an infraction or misdemeanor, depending on the circumstances. 

As with alcohol, driving under the influence of marijuana is already illegal. But unlike alcohol, there’s no threshold for legal impairment and no adequate roadside test. Determining a driver’s impairment is left to the judgement of law enforcement.

“This legislation makes our laws for smoking while driving consistent with drinking while driving,” Hill said in a statement. “With New Year’s Eve approaching, it’s important to remind Californians that impaired driving can be deadly.”


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  1. Spurwing Plover
    Spurwing Plover 30 December, 2016, 15:35

    As the old anti drug comercial from the 70’s went WHY DO YOU THINK THEY CALL IT DOPE? Becuase its used by DOPES and Hollywood as well as San Francisco and L.A. are full of them

    Reply this comment
  2. Right On Washington
    Right On Washington 31 December, 2016, 16:10

    Tobacco too[lots of fines$for law and order expenses/benefits !……or else it will be a clear case
    of unequal justice under the law and selective enforcement profiling.

    Reply this comment
    • Donald Rickles
      Donald Rickles 31 December, 2016, 16:16

      I need to smoke cigs particularly while driving and especially when in traffic spreads not to mention I’m
      addicted but it is MORE legal than other types of plant matter….right?Do we have quorum?

      Reply this comment
  3. Debt Lawyer
    Debt Lawyer 4 January, 2017, 10:08

    They can review laws that are in place in Colorado and Washington to get some ideas, right?

    Reply this comment

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