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The original item was published from 8/1/2014 4:36:00 PM to 8/1/2014 4:36:44 PM.

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Police: News

Posted on: August 1, 2014

[ARCHIVED] Blunt Talk: Where You Can — and Can’t — Use Pot

You can use pot in Issaquah. A select few can even grow and sell pot in Issaquah.

But there are rules.

Don’t get lost in the weeds surrounding the head-scratching regulations for marijuana. We've got answers to your questions about our new DUI and open container rules for pot.

Can I use marijuana?

Sure, but only if you’re an adult 21 or older.

How much pot am I allowed to have?

You have up to 1 ounce of dried marijuana, 16 ounces of a marijuana-infused product in solid form and 72 ounces of marijuana-infused liquid. Here’s a breakdown: a full sandwich bag is about 1 ounce of pot, 16 ounces is equal to a whopping pound of pot brownies and 72 liquid ounces is the equivalent of six cans of soda.

Can I use pot in public?

Nope. Not in a City park, not — despite the name — at Concerts on the Green and especially not at Salmon Days. Initiative 502, passed by voters in November 2012, makes it illegal to use pot in public. You are allowed, of course, to do so in the privacy of your own home.

Can I smoke pot and then drive?

That’s a bad idea. It’s treated the same as if you were driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. You’re driving high if you have a THC concentration of 5.00 or higher within two hours of driving. Remember: THC can remain in your system for days after you smoke or consume pot. Even if you’re not stoned, you can still get busted for DUI.

What if I’m smoking pot in a parked car?

That depends on where you’re parked. If you’re on private property, then it’s OK. If you’re on public property, our open container law applies. So, if you’re smoking in a parked car in your driveway after a late-night munchies run, you’re OK. Not so if you light up while parked on a City street. This could also be probable cause for a DUI arrest, so it’s a bad idea.

What do you mean by “open container”?

It’s anything that can be opened and resealed — a joint, a dime bag, a Ziploc, a tin of loose marijuana, etc. — or any residue on your bong or other pot paraphernalia.

Where can I legally store pot in my car?

In the trunk — and only in the trunk. Not in the glove box, backseat or anywhere that you or your passengers can reach it. Don’t have a trunk? Keep it in some other area of the vehicle not normally occupied by the driver or passengers, such as behind the last row of seats in your SUV or minivan.

Not even a roach?

No, not even a roach — the last, unsmoked bit of a joint.

What about edibles, oils and other marijuana-infused products?

Keep those brownies out of reach. The same open container rules apply to any package, bottle, can or other container of snacks or products that contain marijuana.

What’s the penalty if I get caught?

It’s a $103 civil infraction for smoking pot in public and a $250 civil infraction for violating the open container ordinance. Neither is a criminal violation. DUI is a misdemeanor, with the possibility of jail time and a fine of up to $5,000.

How did we get here?

In November 2012, Washington voters approved I-502 to legalize marijuana for adults 21 and older. In June 2014, after much thoughtful discussion, the City of Issaquah adopted sensible rules about where adults can conduct the business of marijuana legally and safely. Then, in July 2014, the Issaquah City Council set rules against smoking pot in public and driving high.