We all know marijuana is finally legal in California. Of course, after a few days we all realized we really couldn’t buy marijuana in a shop until 2018 and until a bill of regulations was compiled. The new bill has been compiled and is expected to be completely done by October. Here is how the upcoming marijuana laws are looking.
Driving and Marijuana
Before legalization, driving with marijuana in your car without a prescription was a huge risk. Just the smell alone would give police officers probable cause to search your vehicle. Now, although laws are set to be more lax, they are pretty much on the lines of having alcohol in your car.
Technically you are not allowed to have an open container, which means keeping your container sealed like you bought it when it’s in your car. If you do have an open container, like alcohol, you can place it in your trunk. This applies to vape pens and edibles too, meaning an oil cartridge for a vape has to be unused and not connected to a vape pen. An edible cannot be opened or half eaten. An open container infraction will cost you $100. Medical patients can carry an open container in their vehicle without any hassle.
DUI and Marijuana
Smoking and driving is equivalent to drinking and driving. Although there is no real law set for how officers will determine if you are driving on marijuana, officers for now can use their judgement to arrest you. For example, if you get pulled over, take a breathalyzer test and pass, an officer can still try to determine if you are on something else by a sobriety test. If you are impaired on marijuana you are likely to get arrested.
The direction marijuana testing on drivers is going is toward a mouth swab device, which is still being tested for accuracy and reliability.
Medical Insurance and Marijuana
Although marijuana is considered a pain relief drug, it will not be covered under medical insurance since laws do not hold medical insurance companies liable for reimbursement claims of medical marijuana use.
Marijuana and Employer Drug Tests
Even though marijuana is legal in California, the federal government still has marijuana under Schedule 1, which includes drugs such as heroin and LSD. This means employers are still allowed to fire people over failed drugs tests pertaining to marijuana use.
Marijuana Sales Tax
A big question among marijuana users was how much tax would be slapped on marijuana. California sales tax on marijuana will range from 7-10 percent and will include a 15 percent excise tax which retailers have the right to charge. Sales tax can be avoided by becoming a medical marijuana patient, unfortunately this does not apply to the excise tax.