New Californian Cannabis Bills – Let’s Get it Started
People of California said yes to recreational cannabis. Now it’s lawmakers’ turn to make it happen. The process has already begun, and there is its brief overview.
The introduced bills propose to:
- Allow police to test a driver’s saliva for a recent cannabis consumption;
- Restrict advertisement;
- Prohibit marketing to children;
- Ban marijuana use while operating a motor vehicle.
Let’s look at the details:
Driving under the influence: drug testing
Introduced by Assembly Member Tom Lackey (D-Palmdale)
Now, California law enforcement agencies need your consent to collect a saliva sample. This bill wants to transform a voluntary permission into a requirement, similar to breath, blood, and urine tests.
Critics have already complained that the saliva tests have not demonstrated the effectiveness. Also, keep in mind that Prop. 64 doesn’t establish a limit on THC or its metabolites in a driver’s bloodstream. The California Highway Patrol has the power to decide on it. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration acknowledges that it’s “difficult to establish a relationship between a person’s THC blood or plasma concentration and performance impairing effects.”
Cannabis: medical and nonmedical: regulation and advertising
Introduced by Assembly Member Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) and others
This bill proposes several provisions that, for sure, would multiply and be amended during the legislative sessions. One of them is a prohibition of cannabis-related billboards on all state and interstate highways (currently, the prohibition applies only to the roads that cross state borders).
The bill also expands state trademark protections to include marks for legal cannabis products. Other provisions include a $3 million loan to California Highway Patrol for a development of cannabis DUI protocols (the loan would be paid by cannabis taxes). It also aims to clarify a new medical law, the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act, regarding operating as non-profits or for-profits businesses.
Adult-use marijuana: marketing
Introduced by Assembly Member Ed Chau (D-Monterey Park)
During the election campaign, many people were worried that cannabis business would have a right to advertise to children. However, the law prohibited such advertising from the beginning, and this bill would strengthen that provision.
Vehicles: alcohol and marijuana: penalties
Introduced by Sen. Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo)
This bill aims to strictly prohibit “smoking or ingesting marijuana or marijuana products” while operating a vehicle, similarly to the laws regarding alcohol. Charges would be either an infraction or a misdemeanor, and offenders could be sentenced to drug or alcohol education in addition to criminal or civil penalties.
This year will certainly bring more bills and amendments. Regulatory agencies have only begun to work on cannabis issues. The upcoming decisions will shape the future of California’s cannabis industry.