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The information here is intended to provide general information and should not be construed as legal advice or as a substitute for legal counsel.

Cannabis and Driving

  • Is it against the law to drive while high from cannabis?

    • Driving high is not legal.
    • DUI is Driving Under the Influence of any impairing substance or combination of substances, including alcohol, cannabis, over-the-counter drugs, prescription drugs, or illegal substances.
    • Being Under the Influence of cannabis means that as a result of using cannabis, your mental or physical abilities are so impaired that you can no longer drive a vehicle with the caution of a sober person, using ordinary care, under similar circumstances.
    • Driving with any amount of THC in your body can put you at risk of facing legal consequences. There is no per se amount of THC used to establish impairment.
    • Remember that THC can remain in your system for 2 weeks or longer, even if you are no longer high.
    • Whether under the influence of adult-use or medicinal-use cannabis, the laws and penalties surrounding DUI are the same.
    • Legal ramifications of a DUI conviction may include: a jail or prison sentence, up to $10,000 in fines, a suspended or revoked driver's license, a criminal record, and more.

    View this survey here.

  • Can I have cannabis in my car?

    • It is not legal to use cannabis in a car while it's being operated, even if the car is parked or the person using cannabis is a passenger.
    • It is not legal to drive with an open container of cannabis in the car, much like it is not legal to drive with an open container of alcohol.
  • How does cannabis affect driving ability?


    • Effects from inhalation (smoking or vaping) reach their peak about 10-30 minutes after use, though It can take upwards of 2 hours to feel the full psychoactive effects. People who drive immediately after inhaling cannabis double their risk of getting into a car crash.
    • Effects from ingesting oral cannabis or edibles take longer to kick-in, peak around 2-4 hours after consumption, and last much longer than those from inhalation.
    • Higher doses of THC generally cause greater impariment, especially for those who are new to cannabis use or who use cannabis infrequently.


    • Currently, there is no evidence suggesting CBD impairs driving ability.
    • Some evidence suggests that CBD may lessen (though not eliminate) impairing effects of THC.
  • What happens when alcohol and cannabis are used together?

    • Cannabis affects the part of the brain that controls body movement, balance, coordination, judgement and memory
    • Cannabis slows down reaction time, decreasing a person's ability to make quick decisions
    • Using cannabis at the same time as alcohol or other drugs is even more dangerous than when any substance is used on its own
  • How can I protect myself from the negative consequences of high driving?

    • If you have been using or intend to use cannabis, plan to avoid driving until the effects completely wear off. Arrange for a friend to remain sober, use public transportation, or call a car service such as Uber, Lyft, taxi, etc..
    • Because cannabis is fat soluble, know that neither food, water, coffee nor exercise will reduce your impairment or make you a better driver. The only thing that will reduce impairment is time.
    • It is every drivers' personal responsibility to practice safe and sober driving habits.
  • How can I protect myself from impaired drivers?

    • Always wear your seatbelt - it is your best defense against all kinds of risky drivers.
    • Don't let your friends drive impaired. If you are sober, offer to drive them or arrange to have them picked up by a car service, friend, or family member.
    • Talk to friends and family members about the legal and safety risks of driving under the influence of cannabis.
 Learn more about alcohol/ drug impaired driving from the California Office of Traffic Safety.