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State of California: You can still get a DUI on marijuana even though it’s now legal

The California Department of Traffic Safety has issued a warning to people who are thinking about smoking marijuana and then getting behind the wheel.

People can now legally possess and grow marijuana. However the state of California is reminding people that you can still get a DUI for driving under the influence of the plant.

Earlier KCOY 12 spoke with CHP about the signs they look for.

Police sirens – that’s the sound you could hear if you’re caught smoking and swerving.

“It can impair you just like alcohol can,” Marcell Bonner said, who’s pro-marijuana.

Marcell Bonner says he’s been smoking marijuana for about a year.

“Before we would have to be like out in the alley,” Bonner said.

Bonner says it’s benefited his life.

“I was kind of depressed at one point in time and not only just using it but friendship building – using it as an ice-breaker, oh you smoke weed, I smoke weed too, let’s go have some fun,” Bonner said.

As of last month, Californians 21 and older are now able to legally possess marijuana, can legally grow up to six plants, transport it and use up to an ounce of cannabis for recreational purposes – but you can still get popped for a DUI for driving under the influence of marijuana.

“I don’t suggest you drive or use any machinery, just chill at home and eat,” Bonner said.

Bonner says he’s not driving anywhere after smoking.

“It’s just dangerous, you can hurt somebody else’s life and mess up your own life,” Bonner said.

CHP says smoking marijuana can impair your driving in a number of ways.

“Drowsy, the coordination, sluggishness,” CHP Officer David Medina said.

Officer David Medina says the state doesn’t yet have a legal driving limit for marijuana but said if someone is arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of the plant, officers can take a blood sample drug test back at the station – but they always start with a field sobriety test.

“Which is the walk and turn, finger to nose,” Medina said.

“There’s always going to be stuff that you don’t like and there’s going to be people you don’t agree with.. but just get along with everybody,” Bonner said.

State licensed shops can start selling marijuana for recreational purposes on January 1st, 2018 – so a little more than a year from now.

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