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New laws to regulate marijuana

With legalized recreational marijuana the new law of the land, California has put new regulations into place in an effort to prevent driving while high. Becoming familiar with these rules could prevent Californians from inadvertently breaking the law.

As Courthouse News Service reports, Governor Brown has signed a number of bills into law¬†regarding marijuana transportation and other preventative measures. One such regulation requires drivers to follow the same rules when driving with pot in the car as they would with alcohol: namely, if it is in the car’s cabin it must be in a sealed container, and if the seal has been broken, a driver must put the pot in the trunk of the car before hitting the road.

Also in the list of measures signed into law were new testing methods to measure whether or not a driver is impaired by marijuana. A new swab test will measure the amount of THC in the driver’s system based on his or her saliva. Since pot can stay in a user’s bloodstream long after the effects have worn off, the test could be a valuable tool in determining whether someone is driving while high. This test can also detect six different types of drugs in saliva. These tests, which have already been in use in Kern County were admitted into evidence in a court case where the driver was convicted of using marijuana and methamphetamines while driving, resulting in a death.

As KHTS explains, in addition to the testing pilot program, the new package of laws also provides funding for training of drug recognition experts for California Highway Patrol. They have been allocated $3 million.

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