California Highway Patrol recently decided to alert drivers that driving and smoking weed at the same time is totally not legal. Recreational marijuana sales begin next week in the state, and they want to make sure people don’t start getting blazed while they’re driving around town.

There is one part of their announcement that is even more important. Not only can drivers not be getting high while they are driving, passengers are not allowed to smoke cannabis while in the car. So even if you’re not driving, no cannabis smoking will be allowed.

As for smoking before you drive, it can still get you a DUI. However, California has yet to determine how much THC in someone’s blood means they’re too high to drive, so it basically depends on how you’re acting, if there’s a smell of marijuana in the car and other factors. In other states, like Washington, officials have unfortunately set limits on blood-THC levels too low. They’re so low that someone who got really high yesterday and hasn’t smoked today could get a DUI, simply because THC stays in your system for much longer than alcohol.

How California handles stoned driving will likely influence how the rest of the country handles it, so it’s important that officials get it right. The last thing Californians need is a bunch of people going to prison for victimless crimes after they already legalized cannabis.

[Photo by California Highway Patrol/Wikimedia]

About The Author

Thor Benson is a traveling writer currently based in Los Angeles. His writing has been featured in Vice, The Atlantic, The Daily Beast and elsewhere. He can be found in a run-down whiskey bar. Follow him on Twitter at: @thor_benson.

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