Washington’s Marijuana Rules Simplified
With the opening of the Yakima Valley's first legal marijuana store opening Tuesday in Prosser, and Union Gap's opening on Wednesday, here's a condensed look at the rules for legal pot in Washington.
Initiative 502's legal retail operation phase is now under way, and here are some answers to some frequently asked questions. The information was provided by the Washington State Liquor Board, Washington State law, and the Washington State Patrol.
How old do I have to be to go into a legal pot store?
21-years-old, just like a bar. You also have to be 21 to work in a legal pot store.
How old do I have to be to purchase pot?
21-years-old, just like beer, wine, and liquor.
Can I smoke marijuana in a legal retail shop?
Can I use pot in a city park, on a city sidewalk or another public place?
Can I smoke marijuana on my property even if neighbors or passers by can see me?
According to the State Patrol, yes. But keep in mind that the smoke or odor may be offensive to some, so courtesy is appreciated.
If I buy pot legally and I'm pulled over by police, do I have to worry about having the package in the car?
Can a passenger in my car smoke pot while I'm driving?
How loaded can I be before I get a DUI? What's the legal limit?
According to RCW 46.61.502, you are considered to be under the influence if you have a THC concentration of 5.00 or higher as shown by a blood test. You also could be arrested for driving under the influence if an officer believes you've been affected by marijuana use. Even if your THC level is under 5.00, you still could be arrested if you've used marijuana in combination with alcohol or another drug.
Keep in mind that these rules are about legal retail sales, not those governing medical marijuana.
Even though legal marijuana cannot be produced or sold in the city of Yakima, there's no prohibition on possession of legally purchased pot, or its' use on private property.