California to fine Drivers and Passengers using Cannabis

A few weeks back Colorado instated new DUI laws which mandated ninety days of jail time for convicted felony DUI charges. It’s yet to be determined how those laws will impact cannabis users, as Colorado has in place testing to determine impairment of drivers they suspect to be under the influence of marijuana.

On the precipice of recreational cannabis use, California has just passed a law which will see users caught smoking on the road fined seventy dollars for an infraction. The fine will include passengers in the vehicle, and not be limited to the driver. In California, it is already illegal to have an open container of weed or edibles, and as in Colorado, it’s illegal to drive under the influence. In Colorado, it appears that the goal of the new law is to align punishment for marijuana use with the punishment for alcohol abuse.

As is the case with all Marijuana law, there are some gray areas. Technically, it’s still illegal to drive in possession of Marijuana, but it’s anticipated that this law will either be overlooked and not enforced by officers or changed once recreational cannabis use is legalized. Legal weight, as designated by law, is still limited to one ounce of flower and four grams of concentrate. Possession above those weights will still be subjected to additional enforcement in the eyes of the law. As always, legal age is still 21 and violators will be dealt with in accordance with state statutes.

The increase in drivers testing positive for marijuana has increased to levels above those testing positive for alcohol, during certain times. Though some may argue that impairment cannot be considered equal, in the eyes of the law there’s no distinction. With that in mind, be safe; don’t smoke and drive, don’t drink and drive. If you do find yourself on the wrong side of the ticket book or in handcuffs, consider utilizing the services of a law firm specializing in cannabis defense. There is still a stigma surrounding users and it is not worth the risk to find out that your judge isn’t 420 friendly.