Pubdate: Tue, 23 Sep 2014
Source: Herald, The (Everett, WA)
Copyright: 2014 The Daily Herald Co.
Author: Andrea Brown
Page: B1

POT 101

Laws for Recreational Marijuana Use, Legal in Washington Since July, 
Center on Public Safety

Don't drive under the influence.

Don't operate a boat. Don't give to minors. Don't overdo it. The ABCs 
of recreational cannabis use is, in many ways, like alcohol. And in 
many ways, it's not. Recreational marijuana use falls under the 
Washington State Liquor Control Board, which has no jurisdiction over 
medical marijuana. It started in 2012 when Initiative 502 was passed, 
allowing the recreational sale of marijuana to adults by licensed stores.

Liquor board spokesman Mikhail Carpenter said the state has issued 57 
retail licenses. Shops started opening this summer. According to the 
Associated Press, sales of recreational marijuana have topped $14 
million so far, with the state receiving $3.5 million in excise taxes.

"It has been going well," Carpenter said. "These rules were designed 
with public safety in mind."

The basics of Pot 101 can be found in the "Marijuana Use in 
Washington State: An Adult Consumer's Guide" by the board and partner 
agencies. The guide covers driving, consumption, safety and legalities.

As with tobacco, marijuana smokers, both medical and recreational, 
must also abide by the state's Smoking in Public Places Law, which 
prohibits smoking in a public place and within 25 feet of entrances, 
exits, windows that open and ventilation.

The law against marijuana use in public view applies to parks, hiking 
trails and ski resorts. Possession of marijuana is still illegal 
federally. Washington law protects private marijuana use, so you can 
consume openly in a residence as long as the property owner allows 
it. It is legal to consume marijuana in a hotel room if the inn allows it.

It's not OK for parents to share marijuana with their kids, unless 
they also are adults. It is a felony to provide or sell marijuana to 
a minor, subject to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Those 
under 21 can be charged with minor in possession within a specified 
amount. More than 40 grams, it's a felony.

Marijuana can be bought and sold only at licensed retailers. For 
recreational use, adults can purchase up to one ounce of usable 
marijuana (the harvested flowers or "bud"), 16 ounces of 
marijuana-infused edibles in solid form, 72 ounces in liquid form and 
7 grams of marijuana concentrates.

There are penalties for driving under the influence. Similar to the 
0.08 bloodalcohol limit, it is illegal to drive with 5 ng/ml of THC 
or more in your blood if you are 21 or older. For those under 21, it 
is illegal to drive with any amount of THC in your blood. That stuff 
is pretty clear. Consumption is where it gets tricky. It's a lot more 
complex than rolling a joint. The edibles are a lot different than 
the pot brownies of your youth.

Vaporizer pens, which work similarly to electronic cigarettes, often 
use concentrates that are more potent than the grassy stuff. 
Concentrates, such as oils and hashes, are strong and have a quick 
effect. If buds were compared to a light beer, then concentrates 
would be a stiff whiskey drink.

By contrast, ingesting pot-infused edible products often delays and 
prolongs the effects. The high doesn't kick in right away. The 
classic mistake is people eat an edible and then they think nothing 
is happening. So they eat another more.

Remember the New York Times columnist who "nibbled" on a pot candy 
bar while reporting on legalized marijuana in Colorado? "For an hour, 
I felt nothing," Maureen Dowd wrote. "But then I felt a scary shudder 
go through my body and brain. I barely made it from the desk to the 
bed, where I lay curled up in a hallucinatory state for the next 
eight hours." (Recently a "consume responsibly" group put up a 
billboard in Denver showing a non-descript woman with a troubled look 
on a hotel bed, an obvious nod to Dowd.)

Carpenter said edible makers have to get state approval for packaging 
and product.

"It can't be especially appealing to children. Stuff like gummy 
bears," he said. "A serving size is designed at 10 milligrams, with 
each serving physically indicated on the product."

A panel of edible makers at the recent Cannabis Cup in Everett hosted 
by High Times magazine offered these tips.

Alison Draisin, Ettalew's Medibles. "Always start small. You can 
always add more. It's a whole lot harder to get off the crazy train. 
The hard part is when they taste really, really good. You have a hard 
time stopping. Have some restraint and put it away. Set your phone 
for 45 minutes or 90 minutes and just try to wait."

Marla "Molly" Poiset, Cheffettes: "There are 5 to 6 milligrams in 
small chocolate truffles. Start with just one. Five to 6 milligrams 
is going to be something that isn't scary if you have not smoked pot 
or ingested edibles. Or if it's something you did in college 30 years 
ago. I can only ingest 3 milligrams. I have to be careful when 
cooking my edibles so I can finish my working day."

Her workplace allows marijuana use. Most don't. Also, remember to 
leave your pot at home when you travel.

It is illegal to take marijuana outside of Washington.

For more information: and


Pot stats

It's the most widely used illicit drug in the United States.

According to the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 7.3 
percent of Americans aged 12 or older had used marijuana within the 
previous 30 days.

The average age at first use was 17.9 years.

Though use of marijuana among Washington state youth has remained 
relatively stable over the past several years, youth perception of 
harm from use of marijuana has been steadily decreasing. (meaning: 
fewer adolescents believe marijuana use is harmful).

Marijuana is the second most-commonly used substance among high 
school seniors (alcohol is the first), with 27 percent of high school 
seniors reporting current (past 30-day) use.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom