‘Drive Baked, Get Booked,’ deputies warn against driving while high

Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station Det. Mark Barretto examines a jar of marijuana during a probation search at a home on the 24000 block of Arch Street in Newhall on June 6, 2017. (Austin Dave/The Signal)
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The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is expecting to see more smoke clouds this New Year’s weekend as new regulations making the purchase of cannabis possible to anyone over 21 take effect on January 1.

However, it remains illegal to drive under the influence of cannabis and will bring the same consequences as driving under the influence of alcohol, said the Sheriff’s Department in a press release.

“Drivers caught driving impaired can expect the impact of a DUI arrest to include jail time, fines, fees, DUI classes, license suspensions and other expenses that can exceed $10,000,” said the LACSD.

Officials also warn that the same consequences go for driving under the influence of other drugs and medications like “sleep aids, tranquilizers, barbiturates, opiates and other painkillers antidepressants, and even over-the-counter allergy or cough medications.”

The advisory comes after announced plans to increase patrols and checkpoints during New Year’s weekend.


Source: Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department



What’s Legal for Adult Use?

•        Under California law, adults 21 or older can use, carry, and grow cannabis (marijuana, weed, pot).

•        Buying cannabis (without a current physician’s recommendation or a State-issued medical marijuana identification card) will become legal for adults 21 or older January 1, 2018.

•        Use of medicinal cannabis is legal if you have a current physician’s recommendation or a valid State-issued medical marijuana identification card.

•        To buy medicinal cannabis, you must have a current physician’s recommendation, a valid State-issued medical marijuana identification card, or be a Primary Caregiver as defined in Health and Safety Code Section 11362.7(d).

•        You can consume cannabis on private property but you cannot consume, smoke, eat, or vape cannabis in public places.  Property owners and landlords may ban the use and possession of cannabis on their properties.

•        Even though it is legal under California law, you cannot consume or possess cannabis on federal lands like national parks, even if the park is in California.

•        It is illegal to take your cannabis across state lines, even if you are traveling to another state where cannabis is legal.

The new law, known as the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act, includes information about where you can use cannabis, how much you can possess, and the penalties for illegal use. Check out the resources below to find out more.



With the passage of Proposition 64, California legalized the responsible adult use of marijuana.  Please see the following for more information on marijuana use and on the efforts of Department of Public Health to promote the health and safety of our communities.

Prop. 64 Rules on Personal Use and Cultivation

As of Nov. 9th any adult 21 years or older may:

•        Possess, transport, obtain or give away to other adults 21 or older up to one ounce of marijuana or 8 grams of concentrated marijuana.

•        Cultivate up to six plants per residence and possess the marijuana produced by these plants.  All plants and harvest in excess of one ounce must be kept in a locked space not in public view at one’s residence.  Local governments may still forbid cultivation outdoors, but will allow it inside a private residence or accessory structure that is “fully enclosed and secure.”

You may NOT:

•        Consume marijuana in any public place.

•        Smoke or vaporize marijuana in any non-smoking area or within 1,000 feet of a school, daycare or youth center while children are present, except privately at a residence.

•        Consume marijuana or possess an “open container” of marijuana while driving or riding as a passenger in any motor vehicle, boat, or airplane.

•        Possess or use marijuana on the grounds of a school, daycare or youth center.

•        Manufacture concentrated cannabis with a volatile solvent (except for state-licensed manufacturers).


•        Owners may forbid the possession or use of marijuana on their property subject to normal tenant law for renters.

•        Employers may prohibit the use of marijuana by their employees.

•        Commercial marijuana cultivation, manufacturing or sales operations require a license from the State Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation, which will begin accepting applications January 1, 2018.


Minors under 21 may not possess, use, transport, or cultivate non-medical marijuana. Minors under 18 are subject to drug counseling or community service.

Prior offenders

If you have been convicted for a marijuana felony or other offense that has been downgraded by Prop 64, you may petition the court to have your record changed to what it would be if Prop 64 had been in effect.

Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana will continue to be available for persons with valid doctor’s recommendations.  Approved medical marijuana identification cards will be issued by the State.

As there are currently no adequate clinical standards and prescription guidelines for medical marijuana use, it is necessary to be mindful of the quantity and quality of marijuana you decide to use.

Responsible adult use

While marijuana may be used responsibly, it is also a psychoactive drug that can have short and long-term consequences.  How it affects your body and your health can vary widely depending on a number of individual and psycho-social-biological factors, including your age, and preexisting physical and mental health conditions.

Furthermore, until we can implement adequate safety, quality standards, and monitoring, you cannot be sure that the marijuana you buy is free of mold, pesticides, or other toxic chemicals.  While further research and regulations for marijuana are being developed, if you intend to consume marijuana be sure to practice with caution and care.

Please Note: Cannabis remains classified as a Schedule I drug under the federal Controlled Substances Act, and its purchase, possession, distribution, or use within California may be unlawful under federal law. While it is our intention to provide current information, this fact sheet is not for the purpose of providing legal advice and can become outdated. Contact your attorney if you have questions about cannabis, what is (or is not) legal under state or federal law or need legal advice.

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