Posts in category Marijuana

$27.00 Fine For Smoking Marijuana In Public

The city of Seattle is treating smoking marijuana in public at the same level as consuming alcohol in public, it is illegal and the Seattle police will issue a $27.00 fine to any individual found doing so.  The good news is… Seattle police MUST first issue any individual using marijuana in public a verbal warning.  If the individual fails to cooperate with the officers warning and fails to remove the marijuana from public view, then the officer may issue the $27.00 fine.  More good news… the $27.00 fine is an infraction similar to a parking ticket and is not a criminal infraction such as DUI (driving under the influence), thus being cited and fined with smoking marijuana in public will not end up on your criminal record!

For more information on the laws pertaining to smoking marijuana in Seattle or in the State of Washington see our previous blogs “How The Seattle Police Department Will Enforce Marijuana Laws” and “Washington State Laws – Marijuana 101” and continue to follow our blog for the latest and greatest legal news and happenings!

 

Written by SAO

How The Seattle Police Department Will Enforce Marijuana Laws

In less than a month, on December 6th 2013, it will be legal in Washington State for an individual to possess and smoke marijuana.  Any individual age 21 or older may legally carry up to an ounce of marijuana (or 16 ounces of solid marijuana-infused product, like cookies, or 72 ounces of infused liquid, like oil) for personal use.  And with these news laws coming into effect soon, it is important to know how Seattle police along with other city police officers will enforce these laws.

The Seattle Police Department has a blog article, “Marijawhatnow? A Guide To Marijuana Use” describes the police departments understanding of initiative I-502 and the measures that will be taken by law enforcement to uphold these laws.  The article was written in question and answer form which makes it easy to understand in everyday applications.

Here are some of the key highlights you should know to avoid being arrested by police:

Can I legally carry around an ounce of marijuana?

According to the recently passed initiative, beginning December 6th, adults over the age of 21 will be able to carry up to an ounce of marijuana for personal use. Please note that the initiative says it “is unlawful to open a package containing marijuana…in view of the general public,” so there’s that. Also, you probably shouldn’t bring pot with you to the federal courthouse (or any other federal property).

Can I grow marijuana in my home and sell it to my friends, family, and co-workers?

Not right now. In the future, under state law, you may be able to get a license to grow or sell marijuana.

Can I smoke pot outside my home? Like at a park, magic show, or the Bite of Seattle?

Much like having an open container of alcohol in public, doing so could result in a civil infraction—like a ticket—but not arrest. You can certainly use marijuana in the privacy of your own home. Additionally, if smoking a cigarette isn’t allowed where you are (say, inside an apartment building or flammable chemical factory), smoking marijuana isn’t allowed there either.

What happens if I get pulled over and an officer thinks I’ve been smoking pot?

If an officer believes you’re DUI (driving under the influence) of anything, they will conduct a field sobriety test and may consult with a drug recognition expert. If officers establish probable cause, they will bring you to a precinct and ask your permission to draw your blood for testing. If officers have reason to believe you’re under the influence of something, they can get a warrant for a blood draw from a judge. If you’re in a serious accident, then a blood draw will be mandatory.

What happens if I get pulled over and I’m sober, but an officer or his K9 buddy smells the ounce of Super Skunk I’ve got in my trunk?

Under state law, officers have to develop probable cause to search a closed or locked container. Each case stands on its own, but the smell of pot alone will not be reason to search a vehicle. If officers have information that you’re trafficking, producing or delivering marijuana in violation of state law, they can get a warrant to search your vehicle.

SPD seized a bunch of my marijuana before I-502 passed. Can I have it back?

No.

Will SPD assist federal law enforcement in investigations of marijuana users or marijuana-related businesses, that are allowed under I-502?

No. Officers and detectives will not participate in an investigation of anything that’s not prohibited by state law.

I’m under 21. What happens if I get caught smoking pot?

It’s a violation of state law. It may be referred to prosecutors, just like if you were a minor in possession of alcohol.

If you have any further questions pertaining to the new marijuana laws or have been recently arrested for possession of marijuana or DUI of marijuana contact our criminal defense attorneys at David O Defense 206-459-6392 today.

The above Q&A’s were derived from the article “Marijawhatnow? A Guide To Marijuana Use” was written by Jonah Spangenthal-Lee, and can be found on spdblotter.seattle.gov.
 

 

Q & A for Washington State New Marijuana Laws

Ran across an article on Kirotv.com that listed some frequently asked questions regarding Initiative 502, legalization of marijuana in Washington State.  I thought it was worth posting; here are the questions and answers I found to be useful and informative.

1.  What does this mean to me?

It means adults 21 and older can possess up to 1 ounce of the drug; 16 ounces of a solid marijuana-infused product (such as brownies or baked goods); or 72 ounces of infused liquid (such as oil for personal use only).

2.  So it’s legal to carry around that amount?

Yes, but I-502 says it “is unlawful to open a package containing marijuana … in view of the general public.”

3.  Is it legal to smoke marijuana in a public place?

According to Seattle police, while it will be legal to smoke marijuana in one’s home, smoking it in public could result in a ticket, but not an arrest, much like having an open container of alcohol in a public place.  Users outside of Seattle should inquire about laws specific to their city.

4.  Does I-502 affect current medical marijuana laws?

No.  Medical marijuana laws in Washington remain the same.

5.  I’m not a medical marijuana patient.  Where can I legally buy pot or pot-infused goods?

Currently, nowhere.  The Washington State Liquor Control Board is working to develop guidelines for the sale and distribution of marijuana and has until Dec. 1, 2013, to finalize those rules.  In the meantime, production and sale of non-medical marijuana remains illegal.

6.  Can I grow or sell marijuana?

Not at this time, though in the future licenses may be available under laws specified by the Washington State Liquor Control Board.

7.  What about driving after smoking marijuana?

Initiative 502 establishes a standard blood test for driving under the influence.  If an officer believes you’re driving under the influence (DUI) of anything, including marijuana, they will conduct a field sobriety test and may consult with a drug recognition expert.  A blood test may follow.

8.  After it’s legal to buy marijuana, how much will it cost?

That has yet to be determined, but marijuana sales will be subjected to a 40% tax.  State financial experts estimate it could raise nearly $2 billion in tax revenue over the next five years.

9.  How will the tax money be used?

The money is earmarked for education, health care, substance abuse prevention and basic government services.

The complete list of questions can be found at kirotv.com under the post “Legal marijuana: Questions answered.”

 

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