CALIFORNIA—New legislation introduced by State Senator Jerry Hill and Assembly Member Evan Low may restrict the use of marijuana while operating a vehicle.
Proposition 64 granted Californians the right to use recreational marijuana this past November. Currently, it’s illegal to have an open container of marijuana in a car, but currents laws do not address using marijuana while driving, according to Hill and Low.
The new legislation would make it illegal for anyone to consume or smoke marijuana in a vehicle or piloting vessel or aircraft. Violation of Senate Bill 65 could result in a misdemeanor.
“This legislation makes our laws for smoking while driving consistent with drinking while driving,” said Senator Hill, Democrat of San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties. “With New Year’s Eve approaching, it’s important to remind Californians that impaired driving can be deadly.”
Hill and Low also aim to standardize THC and CBD testing during traffic stops.
Proposition 64 requires the California Highway Patrol and UC researchers to develop protocols and best practices for those drives who may be under the influence of marijuana.
While current laws forbid driving under the influence of alcohol, marijuana or other drugs there is not a standardize method to determine if a driver is under the influence of marijuana, as THC does not immediately show up in a person’s blood stream.
Previously, Senator Hill drafted a bill requiring temporary breathalyzers in some cars of DUI offenders in order to earn their drivers license back. The legislation passed last year.
“I have a real passion for solving our impaired driving in California from substance abuse. I don’t want to go in a positive direction on one end and open up the door for deaths on the other end,” said Hill.