Gov. Brown signs bill making it illegal to use marijuana behind the wheel, riding in vehicles

Posted at 1:12 PM, Sep 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-13 16:12:40-04

(KGTV) - Governor Jerry Brown this week approved a bill bringing the penalty for using marijuana while driving or in a vehicle up to par with alcohol use in vehicles.

SB 65, introduced by Senator Jerry Hill of San Mateo, makes it illegal to smoke or ingest marijuana while driving or while riding as a passenger in a vehicle. Gov. Brown signed the bill into law Monday.

RELATED: San Diego city council votes on marijuana regulations

According to the bill's text:

"Existing law makes it an infraction to drink any alcoholic beverage while driving a motor vehicle upon any highway or on other specified lands. Existing law also prohibits a driver or passenger from drinking any alcoholic beverage while in a motor vehicle upon a highway, and makes a violation of this provision punishable as an infraction.

This bill would instead make drinking an alcoholic beverage or smoking or ingesting marijuana or any marijuana product while driving, or while riding as a passenger in, a motor vehicle being driven upon a highway or upon specified lands punishable as an infraction."

California's approval of marijuana sales for recreational use through the passage of Proposition 64 is scheduled to go into effect on January 1. The state has promised to have regulations in place by then concerning sales of marijuana.

RELATED: Senator introduces bill that would end marijuana prohibition throughout the country

Brown this week also vetoed SB 663, a bill that would outline standards to determine if marijuana product labeling is attractive to children.

"Currently law already prohibits cannabis and cannabis products from being designed to be attractive to children," Brown wrote in a statement to the state Senate regarding the bill.

RELATED: California town soon to be the pot capital of America