Bay Area lawmakers concerned about marijuana and driving

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (KGO) -- Two Bay Area lawmakers say there's nothing in the newly passed Proposition 64 that says smoking pot while driving is illegal.

RELATED: Prop 64 legalizing recreational marijuana passes, what you need to know

Under Proposition 64 you can not drive with an open container of marijuana in your car. State Senator Jerry Hill of San Mateo says that's not good enough. "It didn't say anything about if you were driving and smoking a marijuana cigarette or joint while driving or ingesting a brownie at the same time."

Hill and assemblyman Evan Low (D-Silicon Valley) of Campbell have introduced Senate Bill 65, which would close a loophole in the law.

"This legislation now makes it consistent with alcohol use in a vehicle," said Hill. "Consistent in the sense now when you drive a vehicle and you have a marijuana cigarette that will be either an infraction or a misdemeanor."

A smoke shop customer in Redwood City, who didn't want to be identified, told us it sounded like a good idea. "Marijuana does impair your driving and your motor abilities and so having that be different than drinking alcohol behind the wheel, it doesn't make sense."

Melissa Land of Woodside agreed for a different reason. "If we were to, for example, allow you to smoke marijuana while driving but not drink alcohol," Land said. "That could cause a bit of an uproar and it would diminish the ability of the public to accept it."

Smoking pot or drinking alcohol while driving is different than actually being impaired, which is always illegal, but there isn't an equivalent of a breathalyzer for marijuana. That's a different issue.
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