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San Diego law enforcement responds to legalization of recreational marijuana

Posted at 5:43 PM, Nov 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-09 21:01:58-05

SAN DIEGO - With the legalization of recreational marijuana in California, a San Diego County sheriff's deputy told 10News he doesn't think local law enforcement's day-to-day operation will change much.

"Nothing is really going to change, in that regards; we're going to conduct our business like we always have," said San Diego sheriff's Deputy Ramon Homan.

Homan said they will still test dangerous drivers if they suspect they are impaired because of drugs.

"For example, the walk-and-turn test, the person needs to walk and their heels and toes together. They need to keep their hands down by their side," said Homan.

Homan is specially trained to detect the effects of marijuana after he took an elective Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement class. He said he has learned to spot dilated pupils and tests suspected impaired drivers on their level of judgment and perception.

"These are all tests we do regardless what drug or alcohol we suspect," he said.

In a statement, the San Diego Police Department said, "With the passage of Proposition 64 there are immediate changes to the existing law that enables the possession and adult-use of up to 1 ounce of marijuana. It is important for everyone to understand that it is still illegal to consume marijuana in public. Those in violation will be subject to citation.

Also, as a reminder, Proposition 64 does not change the existing laws for driving while under the influence. If you make the poor decision to drive while you are impaired whether it be from alcohol or some other drug, you should expect to be stopped and arrested. DUI is a 100% preventable crime. Public safety is a shared responsibility; help us keep our roads safe for everyone."

Homan said the rule is the same -- don't get behind the wheel unless you're fully aware.

"I would say by all means drive when you're sober, never drive after drinking any alcohol or taking any drugs, whether it be legal or not," he said.