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Answers to Common Questions Regarding the Legality of Weed

Right now, California is working on a bill in an attempt to combine the laws associated with medical marijuana and Proposition 64 into one single, stream-lined system. The bill covers over 100 pages of legislation, and it covers everything from rules for delivery companies to pesticide rules and rules for special events that would involve the presence of marijuana. The plan is to have the drafting of these regulations completed by October, and the bill would also cover rules with regard to recreational marijuana as well.

Every jurisdiction sets its own rules with regard to both medicinal and recreational marijuana. However, there are some more common questions that people may have who live in states where marijuana is increasingly becoming legal, or in states where it has already been legalized, but who are still unsure as to what is and is not entirely "legal." These questions and their answers were compiled by, some of which are included below.

Q: Is it illegal to drive with marijuana in my car?

A: The laws for driving with marijuana are usually similar to those associated with driving with alcohol in the car. For instance, open containers are prohibited. (In the case of marijuana, this would include edibles, vape pens, loose flowers, or any other container that can hold marijuana or cannabis products.) Open containers may be placed in the trunk, just like alcohol. Medicinal marijuana is exempt in that patients are allowed to drive with containers with broken seals or that have otherwise been previously opened.

Q: How much weed would get me arrested for "driving under the influence"?

A: This is actually one of the biggest problems right now in that there is not yet an agreed-upon level of marijuana impairment in the blood that would get someone arrested for being under the influence of marijuana. This is especially true considering marijuana stays in the blood long after it has been consumed. Recommendations are currently being provided for the prevention and detection of driving while impaired.

Q: Will there be separate stores for medicinal and recreational marijuana?

A: California's bill allows retail stores to sell both at the same location. Licensees can actually apply to sell one or the other, rather than both, depending on their preference.

Q: Can I still be fired if I fail a drug test?

A: Marijuana is still considered a Schedule 1 drug by the federal government. Therefore employers are still permitted to fire employees who pop positive for marijuana on a drug test, even if the drug is legal in their state.

Q: Can I smoke marijuana in public?

A: Under Proposition 64, smoking, eating, or otherwise consuming marijuana in public is still illegal. However, local jurisdictions may allow marijuana consumption in retail spaces that are not within the public's view.

Q: Will my insurance plan cover a medical marijuana prescription?

A: No. Health insurance providers are not liable by law to reimburse claims for prescriptions involving medical marijuana.