Legal Cannabis Week #-3

Pools and video arcades added to zoning map

Federally-defined school zones (21 USC 860) include a 100-foot buffer around youth centers, public pools, and video arcades. I’ve updated the zoning map with public pools and video arcades. Youth centers will be added at a later date.

Video arcades is pretty good data, and the list is rather short. Seattle arcades include Add-A-Ball, four Full Tilt locations, Gameworks, Seattle Pinball Museum, and Seattle Waterfront Arcade. King County arcades include Power Play in Bellevue, The Airlock in Kirkland, and Tilt in Federal Way.

Public pools is much trickier. Our data includes only publicly-owned pools, as well as YMCA pools. More “public pools” will be added in the future. What constitutes a public pool is an interesting question. For instance, hotel pools are “public,” but surely school zones were not meant to cover hotels.

In reality, the 100′ layer covers very little land that is not already covered by schools and parks. However, it is certainly nice to know this truth, to see for oneself. The layer is colored dark blue currently.


King and Pierce Counties drop pot cases

From the Nov. 9, 2012 Seattle Times:

On Friday, the elected prosecutors of King and Pierce counties, the state’s two largest, announced they will dismiss more than 220 pending misdemeanor marijuana-possession cases, retroactively applying provisions of Initiative 502 that kick in Dec. 6.

“I think when the people voted to change the policy, they weren’t focused on when the effective date of the new policy would be. They spoke loudly and clearly that we should not treat small amounts of marijuana as an offense,” Satterberg said.

Seattle Police guide to legal cannabis use

On Nov. 9, 2012, the Seattle Police Department issued a Q&A on legal cannabis use in Seattle.

Marijuana has existed in a grey area in Seattle for some time now. 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.

The guide notes that skunk in the trunk is no longer probable cause for search.

What happens if I get pulled over and I’m sober, but an officer or his K9 buddy smells the ounce of Super Skunk I’ve got in my trunk?

Under state law, officers have to develop probable cause to search a closed or locked container. Each case stands on its own, but the smell of pot alone will not be reason to search a vehicle. If officers have information that you’re trafficking, producing or delivering marijuana in violation of state law, they can get a warrant to search your vehicle.

Liquor control board creates cannabis web site

On Nov. 7, 2012, the Washington State Liquor Control Board create an I-502 Implementation Site, and issued the following statement:

The Washington State Liquor Control Board will move forward to carry out the will of the voters who Tuesday passed Initiative 502.

I-502 establishes precedent for growing, processing, retailing and possessing marijuana. Essentially, a system will be built from the ground up. The initiative provides the WSLCB until December 1, 2013 to craft rules for implementation. We expect that it will take the full year to craft the necessary rules which will provide the framework for the new system. As we develop the rules we will keep in mind our top priority, public safety.

Questions remain ahead as we work to implement I-502. Chief among them is the issue that marijuana remains illegal at the federal level.

We will reach out to the federal Department of Justice in the coming weeks for clarification. We will also communicate with our state partners such as the Washington State Patrol, the Department of Health, the Department of Agriculture, and others affected by I-502.

I hope Sharon Foster, Ruthann Kurose and Chris Marr — the Liquor Control Board — are not surprised when the federal government “clarifies” by saying cannabis is illegal under federal law, and anyone mixed up in it — from licensees to state inspectors to tax collectors — is subject to federal prosecution. With that expected response in hand, let’s hope they say something like, “duly noted, now let’s move forward.”

Minor error on WSLCB fact sheet

Worth noting, the I-502 Fact Sheet issued last week by the Washington State Liquor Control Board includes a minor wording error. The document states that adults will be able to legally possess and use:

  • One ounce of useable marijuana.
  • 16 ounces of marijuana infused product in solid form; or
  • 72 ounces of marijuana infused product in liquid form.
  • Marijuana-related drug paraphernalia.

The “or” should be omitted. I contacted the liquor board with this small, though critical error, which will hopefully be corrected soon. Especially in these nascent stages, we must promote as much factual information possible. Come December 6, adult Washingtonians may legally possess and use an ounce of cannabis flower, a pound of solid-form cannabis, and — and — a six-pack of cannabis liquids. What a fact; what a reality!