Initiative 502 – Weed is Legal for Recreational Use in Washington State
For the first time in our nation's history, not just one, but two states passed laws to legalize and regulate the recreational use of marijuana. Now, before you run out into the streets lighting up blunts and loading your bong, be sure you know what exactly what will be happening with Initiative 502.
Beginning on December 6th, adults over the age of 21 can possess up to an ounce of marijuana, but you will not be able to legally grow, manufacture or purchase pot for the next year. Here are a few key notes that explain this further.
- Although state laws will eliminate enforcement of marijuana for recreational use in the state of Washington, it will remain illegal to the Federal Government.
- There will be a system of state-licensed marijuana growers, processors and retail stores, allowing adults over 21 to buy up to an ounce. The Washington State Liquor Control Board is working on the rules and regulations for this. The amount you can posses will somewhat vary. You could buy up to an ounce of dried marijuana; one pound of marijuana-infused product in solid form, such as brownies; or 72 ounces of marijuana-infused liquids.
- A standard blood test limit for driving under the influence will be established. This will be determined by a blood test and similar to Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) that is currently tested for. The difference, is there is not a breathalyzer type of test for THC like there is alcohol. Meaning a blood draw will have to be conducted if officers determine you are under the influence of marijuana. THC levels over 5 nanograms per milliliter will be considered over the limit.
It seems like this will be similar to how liquor used to be, before Initiative 1183 passed last year to privatize sales, except that the language in the initiative allows for the licensing of private stores to sell pot and could be similar to the way cigarettes and liquor are sold now.
That's about all I know for now. In the meantime, as we wait for more information and details from the Washington State Liquor Control Board, you can read for yourself into the full 65 page Initiative 502 courtesy of the Washington Secretary of State website.