Only in Cali: State Senator Wants to Protect Taxi & Limo Drivers From Cannabis Smoke
Despite being one of the most progressive states in the nation in regard to eliminating smoking in the workplace, it is estimated that as many as 4,000 Californians die each year as a result of exposure to secondhand smoke.
Yet, despite the warnings being sounded by cannabis news outlets like Leafly, even the most outspoken critics of cannabis cannot point to one single marijuana-related natural death in humankind’s multi-millennia relationship with the plant.
Still, however, social consumption of cannabis – even in recreationally legal states Like Cali – remains a heated front in the War on Weed.
Some Californians are fortunate enough to be able to blaze their buds in the living room, garage, or backyard of the spot where they live without fear of repercussions from nosy neighbs or law abiding landlords. But many more are left wondering now that weed is legal, where are we allowed to enjoy it?
Prominently advertised social consumption lounges have begun to crop up in the Bay Area as well as down in L.A., and plenty of us still just take to the streets when it’s time to spark one up.
Getting popped by the pigs while smoking a joint on the sidewalk or in the park is usually going to be a buzzkill at best, and a really bad day at worst, but driving, or even riding shotgun, and smoking weed is expressly prohibited by the state’s new adult use legalization laws and the cops are licking their chops at the prospect of locking up more potheads.
So, to recap, for thousands of Californians who voted for and got their “legal weed”, under penalty of law they cannot:
- Smoke inside their home
- Smoke outside of their home
- Smoke in their car
- Smoke in their friend’s car
If you notice, that doesn’t say that you cannot smoke in any car. In fact, there is a curios loophole in Prop 64 that is being contested by state lawmakers while being exploited by cannabis entrepreneurs.
Consider California’s “Open Container” laws with booze. That is basically how they tried to write the new cannabis law, by adding an amendment to the existing section of the Vehicle Code (23221) that pertained to how the law treats open bottles of alcohol in a motor vehicle.
Traditionally exempt from these open container laws have been limousines and party buses, and so in their hackish Cut & Paste law crafting, state cannabis regulators left the same loophole in place.
After witnessing what the California Cannabis Industry Association states was a 300% spike in the search for “cannabis tourism”, the result has been a boom of new companies with fleets of weed-wrapped vehicles that promise their passengers a ride that they’ll never forget... or will instantly forget... wait, what were we talking about again?
I’ve done some pretty rockstar shit in the backseats of limousines, with weed being the least of the improprieties on those hazy occasions, but the caveat about taxicabs is interesting as well. Much like the winery tours that have come to define vast swaths of the California coast, these high-minded companies will whisk you away to dispensaries, farms, or just a guided tour. . . on weed, of course.
Regardless, one Democratic State Senator from San Mateo named Jerry Hill took a hard look into the loophole of the law and he intends to cinch it shut with Senate Bill 625 which he introduced to the state legislature in February of this year.
Hill’s bill doesn’t go straight for the jugular, but instead aims to impose a slow choke of even more regulations on an industry already turning blue in the face from them.
If passed, SB 625 would further amend the state Vehicle Code to prohibit cannabis use in any vehicle unless the following standards were met:
1. There are no passengers under 21 years of age present in the vehicle
2. The driver’s compartment of the vehicle is sealed off and separately ventilated from the passenger compartment of the vehicle
Sen. Hill claims that the motivation behind this legislation is to protect the health of the drivers of these vehicles, not to punish the passengers. The reality is that there are plenty of Californians sitting in jails and prisons right now for breaking laws that began as simply as this one.
Also of note is that SB 625 would carve out an exception for orally ingested or vaporized cannabis products.
No word on what they plan to do about Uber and Lyft drivers, although, they usually already smell like weed when you get in their car anyway.
Someday we may look back on all of this trivial shit and just laugh, but for now it is incredibly frustrating to watch a bunch of folks who clearly know somewhere between little and nothing about weed write all the rules about weed.
Of course, you could pick up one of our brand new and ultra-discreet BUDGET MICRO ENAIL KITs and vaporize your terpenes and cannabinoids cleanly & at the ideal temperature without lingering, tell-tale pot odors