If you’re one of the many Californians who enjoy the occasional (or perhaps more-than-occasional) legal recreational marijuana, you may find that you have a relatively predictable reaction to smoking a joint. If you haven’t experienced edibles, which include everything from gummy worms to chocolate bites to cookies infused with THC, that’s an entirely different experience.
That’s in part because edibles go through the digestive system, which processes them slowly. Further, the THC is converted into another even more potent chemical that can cause a stronger high than cannabis that’s inhaled.
While you should never drive after ingesting cannabis in any form, it’s crucial not to even consider it after so much as a tiny bite of an edible. The effects can hit suddenly when you least expect them, be extremely disorienting and last for hours. It doesn’t help that these edibles are often too delicious to stop after just one bite – especially if you don’t feel anything right away.
Mixing edibles with alcohol -– even a glass of wine or bottle of beer — can lead to an even stronger and unpredictable response. The same is true if you consume them on an empty stomach.
What if you consumed them by mistake?
You may know better than to consume edibles and drive. But what if you do it unwittingly? Maybe a host of a holiday party puts out a plate of cookies or candy that contains THC. That’s a highly dangerous thing to do. Even if they think they’ve made it clear to everyone what they are, it’s too easy for someone (including a child wandering through the party on the way to the kitchen) to think they’re just another holiday treat.
Under California law, giving cannabis to anyone under 14 can land a person in jail. “Tricking” an adult into consuming it results in legal trouble as well – particularly if the unsuspecting victim is harmed or harms someone else.
If you’re that unsuspecting victim, however, you could still face a DUI charge if you’re driving under the influence. Testing a driver for cannabis isn’t as seemingly clear-cut as testing them for alcohol. However, if you’re driving under the influence of it, regardless of how it happened, you could face serious charges – especially serious ones if you’re involved in a crash that injures or kills someone. It’s crucial to protect your rights and explore your defense options.