Now that marijuana is legal in California for anyone 21-years or older, you may be wondering what the rules are about driving with it in your car. It may be legal, but you can still get into trouble with the law. Firstly, consuming pot behind the wheel is subject to the same charges as driving under the influence of alcohol, and there are some other, fortunately simple, rules for you to follow, as well:
· Have Paperwork Ready
If police pull you over, it is vital that you have all your paperwork with you, and that they are the legitimate documents. Whether you have weed in your car with you or not, not having your paperwork ready will certainly attract trouble your way. Keep your driver’s license, current registration, and insurance information stored safely in your vehicle at all times.
· Stash Your Stash in the Trunk
The law says that you may drive with marijuana in your car, provided nobody can see it from outside the vehicle. The safest place to stash your pot is in the trunk. In fact, this is government-recommended. You can put it in the glove box, but the trunk is still your safest bet, especially when, while scrambling for your driving records, your stash falls out for all to see.
· Keep Weed Containers Sealed
It is illegal to drive with an open container of marijuana anywhere in your car. Close all weed jars, containers, and other products tightly, with their original lids, and do not make the mistake of leaving it open on your passenger seat. If a cop sees an open jar of weed next to you, then you will likely be facing charges of driving under the influence of marijuana, whether you were using it at the time or not.
· Do Not Smoke While Driving
If cops catch you driving with a joint between your lips, then some jail time is almost certain. This applies to other forms of marijuana consumption, as well, such as eating and drinking it. It is illegal to consume weed while operating a vehicle, so do not do it. If you absolutely must break the law for a hit or two, then do not hotbox your car. Doing so will just attract law enforcement in droves.
· Clean Your Car of Weed Debris
It will not help if cops find roaches, pipes, bongs, dab rigs, or other weed paraphernalia littering your car when they pull you over. Keep your vehicle clean. Just having accessories like that in your car can land you in trouble with the law, and if they are dirty and clearly recently used, you will have a hard time proving that you were not consuming at the time officers caught you. Be smarter than that.
· Control the Smell
If you can smell weed in sealed containers, then you clearly have good stuff. However, an overwhelming smell of high-grade marijuana coming from your car will appear very suspicious indeed. In fact, it may just be the reason why cops come over to investigate you in the first place. Use body spray or cologne, if necessary, but wrapping it properly and storing it in the trunk should reduce the odor sufficiently.
· Fix Your Car
One of the surest ways to guarantee a roadside stop is to drive a vehicle that has something obviously wrong with it. Cops will pull you over for a broken taillight, for example, and instead find your weed stash open next to you on the passenger seat. Make sure your lights work properly, as well as your turn signals. Fix license plates, broken windows, and anything that could possibly get you pulled over.
Although the law now allows you to have up to an ounce of weed on your person at any given time, there are still some rules to follow when driving with it in your car. The consensus is to stay as discreet as possible, as discretion will keep you on the right side of the law. However, those flaunting their stash or smoking behind the wheel may find jail and fines an almighty inconvenience.