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California's 'Open Container' Law for Marijuana

"There is nothing recreational, medicinal or legal about hurting someone in a car accident when you're high. Please don't do it."

- District Attorney Jeff Rosen

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Think of this like open container laws for alcohol in cars: Apart from the separate issue of possible DUI charges for drivers suspected of driving under the influence of marijuana, both drivers and passengers could be fined $70 for the act itself, that is, of smoking or consuming edibles while in a car.

As the Los Angeles Times reports, this new law mirrors existing law that prohibits drivers and passengers from consuming alcohol while in a car, independent of whether or not they're intoxicated (or the ones doing the driving).

Senate Bill 65

With marijuana in California legalized for recreational use as of 2018, Sen. Jerry Hill sought to close a loophole, so to speak, in which it wasn't illegal to use marijuana while in a vehicle, unlike alcohol.

On SB 65, Sen. Hill said, "This bill simply makes our laws on using marijuana while driving or riding in cars consistent with our laws on consuming alcohol while driving or riding in vehicles."

The press release published on Sen. Hill's site on Sept. 12 also quoted Santa Clara County D.A. Jeff Rosen: "You should be holding the steering wheel - not a joint or an edible. There is nothing recreational, medicinal or legal about hurting someone in a car accident when you're high. Please don't do it."

Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed SB 65 into law.

Read more:

Smoking pot while driving or riding in a car in California will soon be punishable with a fine

Governor Signs Bill Prohibiting Pot Use While Driving or Riding in Cars

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