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The Eve of Marijuana Legalization in Washington

There is a particular “buzz,” in the air in the state of Washington tonight…the eve of marijuana legalization. You can just sense it. Or… maybe I mean smell it?

While many people have done their research, and are extremely informed on the new law, we believe that we need to clear the smoke on this subject for some. That is why we have provided everyone with a list of the top 10 things everyone should know about the new Washington Marijuana laws.

  1. As of tomorrow, December 6, adults 21 and over may carry up to one ounce of marijuana for personal use. You may have up to either 28 grams of marijuana flowers, 16 ounces of marijuana-infused product (edibles), or 72 ounces of infused liquid (oil, tinctures, etc).
  2. If you are under the age of 21 and you get caught, it’s a violation of state law. Just like if you got caught with alcohol as a minor.
  3. Medical marijuana laws in Washington will remain the same as they were before the measure was passed. If you are a patient, you’re safe.
  4. While you may possess marijuana, the production and distribution of non-medical marijuana is illegal. This means that people looking to start storefront marijuana businesses and grow operations will have to wait until the state finalizes those rules.
  5. The Washington State Liquor Control Board is developing these rules and under the law, they must finalize them by December 1 of next year. Retail stores may not even open until as late as spring 2014, depending on how long the process takes.
  6. Any ancillary businesses that don’t directly deal with the growing or sale of marijuana can begin operations any time. Legal firms, tax consultants, hydroponics companies, grow site construction, grower real-estate agencies, and tons of other businesses are going to start becoming much more prevalent.
  7. Since the law doesn’t affect medical marijuana patients, the sale of medical marijuana remains unchanged.
  8. The cannabis you carry on you must be concealed from public view, and smoking it in public will result in a civil infraction, like having an open container. You may also not carry on any federal property.
  9. Driving under the influence of marijuana will be treated the same way as alcoholic DUI’s. If an officer suspects you have been smoking marijuana (probable cause), he will perform a field sobriety test and may bring you into the station to have your blood tested. In the event you get in an accident, blood tests are mandatory.
  10. If the officer doesn’t suspect you of smoking marijuana, but he catches drift of the stinky OG in your pocket, the officer would have to develop probable cause to search a concealed, closed, or locked container. Know your rights.

Since marijuana remains illegal under federal law, many are concerned with how the feds will respond to the new laws taking effect tomorrow. Since the fed’s refused to comment on how they will react, it will be interesting to see how this all plays out.