California Driving and Marijuana
A new bill that California is looking to pass will ban drivers from marijuana use while driving. It’s called Senate Bill 65, and its purpose would create an infraction for anyone that consumes marijuana of any form. The bill serves the same purpose as the law on alcohol. It will also give judges the option to penalize a person as either an infraction or a misdemeanor.
Currently, you’re not allowed to drive while “high” and having an open container is also illegal but there is a loophole within the system because they don’t clarify whether it’s actual usage while driving or define if a joint, pipe or even an edible is considered an open container or not. It’s obviously dangerous to drive while “high” and it’s another distraction from the road, there is still no way for police to determine how “high” someone is. Whereas with alcohol, we have breathalyzers.
Another new possibility that could happen soon is the creation of a roadside saliva test that police officers could use if they feel a person is impaired. The only downfall with that is it won’t be able to determine how “high” someone is. THC can also be stored in a person’s body fat for a few days or even weeks after using when the person being tested is obviously not high at the time.
Fatal car accidents involving people who recently used marijuana have double in Washington once it became legal and fatal crashes in Colorado, another state with legal marijuana use, has also seen a drastic increase. Traffic deaths in Colorado have increased 154% from the years 2006-2014 (37 deaths to 94 deaths). This bill will serve justice and give people the same opportunity it does with alcohol, but just ensuring that it’s done with care.