California Bill Could Outlaw Driving for up to a Week After Smoking Pot

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If you smoke marijuana in California, there’s a chance you may have to wait a week or more before you can drive legally. A bill introduced last week by state Senator Lou Correa, a Democrat from Anaheim, would make it illegal to get behind the wheel if your blood contains “any detectable amount” of cannabis—a drug which, unlike alcohol, can persist in the blood of its users for a week or more after the psychoactive effects have worn off.

“This bill would effectively outlaw EVERY driver who has within recent hours or days used marijuana,” California NORML director Dale Gieringer told the East Bay Express.

Strict traffic laws are fast becoming the new front of the war on drugs. Ten states already impose zero tolerance requirements on pot smokers who get behind the wheel. Another four, including Washington, where pot is now legal, set a blood limit for THC, the active ingredient in cannabis, at a level low enough to convict some drivers who aren’t actually stoned.

Studies suggest that drivers with any amount of cannabis in their blood are on average twice as likely as drug-free drivers to cause an accident. But they’re far less dangerous than drinkers, who cause accidents at nine times the rate of sober drivers. So if Correa really wants to prevent traffic accidents, he might want to worry less about someone who was high a week ago than that guy who just tossed back a few Miller High Lifes.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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