I came across a great poster titled Marijuana 101 when I took my family to a park on Mercer Island last weekend. The poster lists basic Washington State marijuana law in an easy to understand manner that everyone should have knowledge of. Here is the information:
Marijuana is illegal in Washington for anyone under 21.
Frequent marijuana use can lead to addiction (1 in 6 youth, 1 in 9 adults).
It is illegal to use marijuana in public.
It is illegal to gift or share marijuana.
It is a felony to provide marijuana to a minor.
Driving under the influence (DUI) of marijuana is a crime.
Many employers still drug test for marijuana.
It is illegal to purchase marijuana until licensed stores open in December 2013 with the passing of Initiative 502.
Marijuana remains illegal according to federal law.
The following organizations; Washington Discovery Help Line 866-789-7577, King County Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention Program, Washington State Department of Social & Health Services, Communities That Are, and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are associated with Marijuana 101.
Here are some interesting facts about the Seattle police “DUI squad.”
1) While enforcing traffic laws, DUI squad officers have authority to further investigate individuals for DUI, driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
2) DUI squad police may be called to the scene of a car collision to specifically investigate drivers for DUI.
3) Patrol officers who have stopped an individual suspect of DUI, call DUI squad officers to assist with the investigation of alcohol and/or drug impairment.
4) Seattle DUI squad officers work late evening hours to early morning hours 7:30PM to 4:30 AM. The DUI squad police are also required to be on call 24/7 to respond to any situation requiring their DUI expertise.
5) DUI squad officers appear in court frequently to provide testimony on DUI arrests. DUI charge is the most litigated misdemeanor crime in Washington State.
6) Most DUI squad officers undergo two weeks of extensive education and certification to become DRE’s (Drug Recognition Experts). DRE’s have the ability to determine if an individual is under the influence of drugs other than, or in addition to, alcohol.
All information listed above was derived from www.seattle.gov
A lot of people are wondering, just as I am, with the implementation of the legalized recreational marijuana system passed by Washington voters with Initiative 502 what’s going to happen? As a DUI attorney/ criminal attorney I’m especially interested in having a pulse on what’s going on. As of January 18, 2013, the Washington State Liquor Control Board is now seeking proposals for marijuana consulting services in: product and industry knowledge, product quality standards and testing, product usage and consumption validation and product regulation. This is good news. It’s great to see progress and the State requesting consultants to assist in Initiative 502 implementation. Times have definitely changed here in Washington. What remains to be seen is will the change be considered a positive one for all of us.
As a Seattle attorney who represents those accused of Driving Under the Influence DUI/drunk driving cases I’m interested in how the State will prosecute such cases as it relates to marijuana consumption. The real issue in Marijuana DUI cases is whether or not the driver’s ability to drive was affected by consuming marijuana. Factors to consider of signs of intoxication would include but not limited to, active components of THC in a driver’s system, time of last consumption in relation to time of driving, and the driving observed. Just as with alcohol consumption, marijuana consumption and it’s effects on individuals vary considerably. As a result, I think marijuana DUI cases are tough to defend but even tougher to prosecute.