With recent changes to cannabis laws which legalized its possession and use, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department continues to remind everyone that driving under the influence of marijuana is a crime and will bring the same result as driving under the influence of alcohol.
In addition to marijuana, a driver could be subject to a DUI arrest if they are under the influence of prescription medications like sleep aids, tranquilizers, barbiturates, opiates and other painkillers anti-depressants, and even over-the-counter allergy or cough medications.
Drivers caught driving impaired can expect the impact of a DUI arrest to include jail time, fines, fees, DUI classes, license suspensions and other expenses that can exceed $10,000 not to mention the embarrassment when friends and family find out.
If you are interested in learning more about marijuana possession, below is some information regarding the Marijuana Law provided by Los Angeles County and the State of California.
The passage of Proposition 64 has made cannabis a common discussion topic. Parents and teens should inform themselves about new laws concerning cannabis. In particular, it remains illegal for anyone under 21 years of age to consume or possess cannabis except in limited cases in which a doctor has recommended the use of medical cannabis.
The amount of information on the internet can be overwhelming. As a starting point, the Office of Cannabis Management has compiled a short list of resources for parents and teens.
Here’s information from the California Department of Public Health about cannabis:
What’s Legal for Adult Use?
• Under California law, adults 21 or older can use, carry, and grow cannabis (marijuana, weed, pot).
• Buying cannabis (without a current physician’s recommendation or a State-issued medical marijuana identification card) will become legal for adults 21 or older January 1, 2018.
• Use of medicinal cannabis is legal if you have a current physician’s recommendation or a valid State-issued medical marijuana identification card.
• To buy medicinal cannabis, you must have a current physician’s recommendation, a valid State-issued medical marijuana identification card, or be a Primary Caregiver as defined in Health and Safety Code Section 11362.7(d).
• You can consume cannabis on private property but you cannot consume, smoke, eat, or vape cannabis in public places. Property owners and landlords may ban the use and possession of cannabis on their properties.
• Even though it is legal under California law, you cannot consume or possess cannabis on federal lands like national parks, even if the park is in California.
• It is illegal to take your cannabis across state lines, even if you are traveling to another state where cannabis is legal.
The Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act, includes information about where you can use cannabis, how much you can possess, and the penalties for illegal use.
Here’s more from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health:
With the passage of Proposition 64, California legalized the responsible adult use of marijuana. Please see the following for more information on marijuana use and on the efforts of the Department of Public Health to promote the health and safety of our communities.
Prop. 64 Rules on Personal Use and Cultivation
Any adult 21 years or older may:
• Possess, transport, obtain or give away to other adults 21 or older up to one ounce of marijuana or 8 grams of concentrated marijuana.
• Cultivate up to six plants per residence and possess the marijuana produced by these plants. All plants and harvest in excess of one ounce must be kept in a locked space not in public view at one’s residence. Local governments may still forbid cultivation outdoors, but will allow it inside a private residence or accessory structure that is “fully enclosed and secure.”
You may NOT:
• Consume marijuana in any public place.
• Smoke or vaporize marijuana in any non-smoking area or within 1,000 feet of a school, daycare or youth center while children are present, except privately at a residence.
• Consume marijuana or possess an “open container” of marijuana while driving or riding as a passenger in any motor vehicle, boat, or airplane.
• Possess or use marijuana on the grounds of a school, daycare or youth center.
Manufacture concentrated cannabis with a volatile solvent (except for state-licensed manufacturers).
Furthermore, owners may forbid the possession or use of marijuana on their property subject to normal tenant law for renters. Employers may prohibit the use of marijuana by their employees. Commercial marijuana cultivation, manufacturing or sales operations requires a license from the State Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation.
Persons under the age of 21 may not possess, use, transport, or cultivate non-medical marijuana. Minors under the age of 18 are subject to drug counseling or community service.
If you have been convicted for a marijuana felony or other offense that has been downgraded by Prop 64, you may petition the court to have your record changed to what it would be if Prop 64 had been in effect.
Medical marijuana will continue to be available for persons with valid doctor’s recommendations. Approved medical marijuana identification cards will be issued by the State.
As there are currently no adequate clinical standards and prescription guidelines for medical marijuana use, it is necessary to be mindful of the quantity and quality of marijuana you decide to use.
While marijuana may be used responsibly, it is also a psychoactive drug that can have short and long-term consequences. How it affects your body and your health can vary widely depending on a number of individual and psycho-social-biological factors, including your age, and preexisting physical and mental health conditions.
Furthermore, until we can implement adequate safety, quality standards, and monitoring, you cannot be sure that the marijuana you buy is free of mold, pesticides, or other toxic chemicals. While further research and regulations for marijuana are being developed, if you intend to consume marijuana be sure to practice with caution and care.
Please Note: Cannabis remains classified as a Schedule I drug under the federal Controlled Substances Act, and its purchase, possession, distribution, or use within California may be unlawful under federal law. While it is our intention to provide current information, this fact sheet is not for the purpose of providing legal advice and can become outdated.
Contact your attorney if you have questions about cannabis, what is (or is not) legal under state or federal law or need legal advice.