New California law outlaws consuming any form of cannabis in moving vehicles.
BY ED MURRIETA
California’s car culture and cannabis culture have been portrayed as two great things that go great together.
Starting Monday, drivers and passengers will be forbidden from smoking, vaping, eating, drinking or otherwise ingesting cannabis and cannabis products in moving vehicles. Gov. Jerry Brown approved the new law in September.
It is already illegal to drive while intoxicated on cannabis — even though the state has set no legal standard for impairment and no technology to measure impairment is in standard use by law enforcement. It’s also illegal to have an open bag of cannabis in a motor vehicle.
Penalties for smoking and consuming cannabis in vehicles begin at $70 but could be as much as $10,000 if injuries or deaths are involved and insurance rates skyrocket, similar to the cost of a drunk driving ticket.
It’s already illegal to smoke cannabis in public (punishable by a $100 fine) so the famous “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” hot-box scene can’t legally be recreated today.
Big questions remain: How can law enforcement tell the difference between a regular cookie and a cannabis cookie? People eat and drive all the time. And how does a cop spot an e-cig vs. a vape pen?
- Don’t smoke, vape, dab or consume edibles in a vehicle.
- Stuff your stash in your trunk.
- Beware Border Patrol checkpoints if you’re driving with pot.