CHP freeway signs warn against driving under the influence of cannabis

By Haaziq Madyun Published: December 27, 2017, 5:28 pm

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — With marijuana set to become legal in just a few days, there is a new campaign from California law enforcement about driving under the influence of cannabis.

“You should never drive high,” said Rhonda Craft, the director of the California Office of Traffic Safety. “The message today DUI doesn’t just mean booze.”

“That is absolutely correct,” said attorney Mahal Montoya with the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. “I always say alcohol and cannabis is a lethal combination.”

The deadly effects of which allegedly led to the death of California Highway Patrol officer Andrew Camilleri.

In the wake of his death, the California Office of Traffic Safety is launching a new public awareness campaign focused on not driving under the influence of drugs like marijuana.

Montoya says the legal cannabis community should publically echo the DUI doesn’t just mean booze messages,

“Publically admit it. Share it. Educate it. Put it on the packaging. Put it on the billboard. Medicate responsibly. Consume Responsibly. Use responsibly. Don’t wait for years and years of litigation to say what we already know,” Montoya said.

“What is particularly troubling and likely due to the public’s lack of awareness is the combination of alcohol with marijuana or alcohol with other impairing medications is even more dangerous when used alone,” Craft said.

Billboards are being used to help raise public awareness about the dangers of driving after mixing marijuana with alcohol.

“They had to make alcohol companies say drink responsibly,” said Montoya. “They had to go through tremendous amount years of litigation just to get them to admit that. Why should we wait with cannabis? We already know consume responsibly.”

This is coming from a staunch legal cannabis advocate.

“I believe in my heart that cannabis is a safe drug when used responsibly,” Montoya said.

California reminds drivers DUI doesn’t mean just booze
December 28, 2017  Newsroom Staff

Alcohol and marijuana don’t mix. That’s the message behind California’s new traffic safety campaign. It’s the latest in an effort to push safety once marijuana is legal for recreational use in California.

Warning labels on marijuana products are what national organization of the reform of marijuana member Mahal Montoya said should come with every purchase of cannabis when it becomes legal in California in 2018.

She s ays it’s about public safety. “Well absolutely. Definitely warning labels should be included on all packaging. ‘Don’t operate machinery.’ ‘This is hazardous.’”

If you’re driving in Siskiyou County, or any other part of California next year, you’ll likely notice CHP’s new safety campaign…

Driving under the influence doesn’t just mean booze. “It is particularly troubling. amd due to the public’s lack of awareness… The combination of alcohol and marijuana or alcohol and other medications is even more dangerous than when used alone.”

Montoya said she is among the advocates in the legal marijuana community who wants to help raise awareness about cannabis consumer safety.

“Unfortunately there is an underground market here and people are not testing their products,” Montoya explained. “So you could put whatever you want on a package and you can imply that it will have this effect, but until someone consumes that, you don’t know what you have. You’re in effect opening Pandora’s Box. You are self-medicating with products that are not regulated. You don’t know what you’re going to get. You combine a product like that with alcohol which already has known effects. So I always say alcohol and cannabis is a lethal combination.”

Pot use is the focus of a new law taking effect in California. In the New Year beginning January first, it will be explicitly illegal to smoke or ingest pot while driving or riding in a car.

The California Office of Traffic Safety said they’re seeing more instances of driving under the influence of drugs, what they call “DUID.” That’s promting them to reiterate the message that “DUI Doesn’t Mean Just Booze.”

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