Last November, pot was legalized for recreational use in Washington. The passage of this legislation, Washington Initiative 502, created many questions for users in Washington such as: How old do I have to be to use marijuana? How much am I allowed to have in my possession? Can I grow marijuana? Can I sell marijuana to others? What happens if I commit a violent crime or a crime against property while under the influence of marijuana? With confusion surrounding the Initiative, you may have been charged with violating Washington law. If you have been charged with a pot-related offense, call Blair & Kim, PLLC to talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney.
A month later, in December 2012, Washington developed DUI limits for pot use. This too led to questions such as: Can I smoke pot and drive? How much can I smoke before I drive? Is there a “DUI limit” for THC blood concentration? What is a “pot DUI” or a “marijuana DUI”?
To see how the Washington State Patrol (WSP) is responding to the passage of marijuana in the state, check out an article from National Public Radio’s Program All Things Considered: http://www.npr.org/2013/11/06/243466218/there-may-be-a-green-light-for-pot-but-not-for-driving-high.
According to the article, “A Green Light For Pot, But Not For Driving High,” if you get pulled over by a member of the WSP and you smell like marijuana, the officer may ask you a series of questions such as: “‘How long ago did you smoke? Did you smoke? Do you have any in your possession? How often do you smoke?'” Your answers to these questions may lead to a field sobriety test or a THC blood test (which may entitle you to a warrant or other safeguards to your legal rights).
Another article published in The Wall Street Journal in May, “Blurry Line on Pot-DUI Cases” demonstrates the problems officers in Seattle are have with recognizing when drivers are under the influence of marijuana. Read the article here: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887324031404578481223036526686. This article also discusses Washington’s laws regarding ignition-interlock system and its inability to detect marijuana. To learn more about the ignition-interlock system, see one of our other blog entries: Ignition Interlock Driver License.
If you are over the limit, you may be charged with a “pot DUI” or “marijuana DUI.” If you’ve been pulled over or charged with a DUI for driving under the influence of marijuana, call Blair & Kim, PLLC to talk to a DUI attorney.