Last Friday, 9th November, the Seattle Police posted a Guide to Legal Marijuana Use that shows a refined attitude rarely exhibited by police departments, but, well, not unexpected from Seattle. The guide tackles most issues that might concern a marijuana user following the legalization of recreational use of marijuana in Seattle, and does so in a common-sense and jovial approach readers would find enlightening. The guide is posted on spdblotter.seattle.gov, and we are posting a few excerpts below from the guide for quick reading.
So, here’s the introduction made by Jonah Spangenthal-Lee: “The people have spoken. Voters have passed Initiative 502 and beginning December 6th, it is not a violation of state law for adults over 21 years old to possess 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. The initiative establishes a one-year period for the state to develop rules and a licensing system for the marijuana production and sale.”
The police department welcomed the development for the clear reason “Despite a longstanding national prohibition on marijuana, minor marijuana possession has been the lowest enforcement priority for the Seattle Police Department since Seattle voters passed Initiative 75 in 2003. Officers don’t like grey areas in the law. I-502 now gives them more clarity.”
And for the public the guide makes clear: “In the meantime, the Seattle Police Department will continue to enforce laws against unlicensed sale or production of marijuana, and regulations against driving under the influence of marijuana, which remain illegal.”
The guide tackles both serious as well as common-sense questions that seem frivolous. For example, it answers questions like, “Can I legally carry around an ounce of marijuana?” with the department warning the initiative says it “is unlawful to open a package containing marijuana … in view of the general public.”
It also answers questions like, “Well, where can I legally buy pot, then?” and answers the Washington State Liquor Control Board has up to December 1, 2013 to finalize rules, but “In the meantime, production and distribution of non-medical marijuana remains illegal.”
And it also answers questions like, “Will police officers be able to smoke marijuana?” and answers, “As of right now, no. This is still a very complicated issue.”
Below the guide, a YouTube video of Bilbo and Gandalf from the Lord of the Rings blowing smoke rings is posted.