AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s illegal to drive drunk, but what about to drive high. Believe it or not, in Massachusetts, it’s not illegal to drive while smoking pot. We asked people, is that surprising?
In Massachusetts it is illegal to drive with an open container of alcohol. But not to smoke a joint. One state representative wants to change that and fine people $100 and $500 dollars.
The new proposal would ban blunts, pipes and other smoking devices from being in the passenger area.
Robert Krumrey, from Amherst said, “It’s an illegal substance in general. The fact that you could get pulled over for an open container and not pulled over for smoking pot while driving. That definitely affects your ability to drive. That seems a little strange to me.”
But Amy Bowers of Easthampton told 22News she thinks it’s more complicated. “There’s plenty of forms of medical marijuana that don’t inhibit cognitive ability. People need to be able to use those on a daily basis even though they might have to be driving somewhere.”
In Massachusetts, having under an ounce of pot is not criminal, and medical marijuana is legal. Voters may also see a ballot question in November asking if it should be legal for recreational use.
Cooper Krumrey, from Amherst told 22News, “I think pot should be illegal in general, not just while driving. Because it affects your brain and you need your brain while driving.”
Police say you can still be arrested if your driving under the influence of drugs, but the difficulty is determining where that threshold is.
The house will take a first look at the proposal on Monday. The ban would not apply to the passenger areas of taxis or other rides for hire.