Marijuana is legal in Massachusetts, driving while high on the substance is not.
That’s the message from state public safety officials, who are running ads as part of an awareness campaign months after voters broadly legalized the use of recreational marijuana in the Bay State.
“Drive high? The crash is on you,” the new campaign from Gov. Charlie Baker’s public safety agency says.
Can you smoke Massachusetts marijuana in your car?
The campaign will include television ads, as well as billboard and radio ads. According to the State House News Service, Colorado ran the same ads after legalizing marijuana in 2012.
One 30-second ad highlighted by public safety officials shows a man in a backyard as he holds a steak and repeatedly tries to start grilling. His friends look on awkwardly and one of them rolls her eyes.
“Grilling high is now legal,” the ad says. “Driving to get the propane you forgot isn’t.”
Advocates and opponents of marijuana legalization argued over drugged driving during the ballot campaign last year. Voters passed Question 4, which largely legalized marijuana use for adults ages 21 and over.
Opponents, including some law enforcement officials, argued the state wasn’t ready for increases in drugged driving that would come after legalization, while legalization proponents said marijuana in a person’s system doesn’t mean they’re impaired due to marijuana’s ability to stay in a person’s system for up to three weeks after use.
Police officers simply need probable cause to pull over somebody they believe is driving while high, they added.
In July, Massachusetts lawmakers rewrote the new marijuana law and added the creation of a commission to study drugged driving.
Massachusetts marijuana laws got a Statehouse rewrite. Here’s what you need to know