It’s a brave new world for cannabis laws, which will almost certainly shift yet again in the coming weeks as five new states vote on recreational initiatives. Among them is California, the seventh largest economy in the world and home to about 80 percent of all pot grown in the US. If the polls are any indication, it will be a huge domino to fall in the path toward legalization. The times are inarguably a changin’, but driving with weed in your car will likely be a serious offense long after the last state makes the seemingly inevitable conversion.
The way we understand impairment is tricky. The current rule for intoxication in Coloradoand Washington is five nanograms of THC in the blood, although that’s a far less accurate barometer than the .08 rule for alcohol. A regular smoker could have double that level in her blood and be fine behind the wheel. Someone new to pot could have far less, and be a disaster. In short, the policy hasn’t quite caught up to the research. Things will likely change over the next few years, but for now, your best bet is obviously finding a way to work with (or around) the laws currently in place.
VICE spoke to the executive director of the Cannabis Law & Policy Project at the University of Washington, Sam Mendez, to get a handle on the wide-ranging set of rules and regulations on driving with weed, and possession in general. The sticky details vary state to state, although one thing is as clear as ever: The Fourth Amendment is your friend.
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