Starting tomorrow, as a result of Washington State voters passing I-502, it will no longer be a criminal offense under state law for adults to possess up to an ounce of marijuana for personal, private use. With this, the State will see the end of tens of thousands of arrests each year and the prosecutions that often come with them. These arrests have comprised the overwhelming majority of marijuana arrests. It’s certain that this shift in approach will save the public time and money. Our State and Colorado are leaders in this shift in approach to marijuana policy that does not punish the responsible behavior of smokers over 21, while still promoting education and regulations that protect children and teens.
It is still an infraction to use marijuana in public. The City encourages people who want to celebrate the passage of Initiative 502 to do so in the privacy of their homes. Additionally, driving under the influence of marijuana remains a crime.
Over the next year, the Washington State Liquor Control Board will develop rules to regulate the sale of marijuana to adults over 21. Until these rules are finalized, it is still a felony to sell or give another person marijuana. Collective gardens and safe access points for qualifying patients are unaffected by I- 502.