Feel Free to Get Baked, Order Pizzas and Enjoy a LOTR Marathon in Your Own Home, Seattle Police Say

At of 12:01 a.m., it is legal in Washington for a person older than 21 to possess a small amount of marijuana for personal use. But the new law remains somewhat unregulated and conflicts with federal drug law. Tell us what you think in the comments.


They gathered at the Space Needle, in downtown Tacoma and in cloudy living rooms across the state. Pot smokers, once the scourge of law enforcement and scare films such as "Reefer Madness" became legit Thursday in Washington State.

"It means I don't have to worry," said Marty Johnson of Seattle, who stood with friends near the Space Needle to celebrate the first legal pot day in state history. "We've waited. It took more time than it should have but now it's legal."

Well, almost. While the November passage of I-502 made personal use amounts of marijuana legal in the state, it didn't change federal law -- a fact the Western District U.S. Attorney's office was quick to point out. 

"Regardless of any changes in state law, including the change that will go into effect on December 6th in Washington State, growing, selling or possessing any amount of marijuana remains illegal under federal law," U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan wrote in a statement released Wednesday.

However, the Seattle Police Department Blotter had a decidedly more casual take on the new law: 

"Does this mean you should flagrantly roll up a mega-spliff and light up in the middle of the street? No. If you’re smoking pot in public, officers will be giving helpful reminders to folks about the rules and regulations under I-502 (like not smoking pot in public)," the SPD Blotter posted on Dec. 5.

"But the police department believes that, under state law, you may responsibly get baked, order some pizzas and enjoy a Lord of the Rings marathon in the privacy of your own home, if you want to."

Even so, the state is trying to move ahead with additional specific regulations. And local entrepreneurs are following right behind. My Northwest reports that "potpreneurs" are springing up with cookbooks and classes for marijuana edibles. 

But how to regulate the sales? The state is looking to pot industry experts for advice, according to the Associated Press. But officials still don't know exactly what to do in the short-term, KOMO news reports.

Currently, it's legal to possess it but not to grow or buy pot. 

"We are in uncharted territory," Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes, told KOMO. 

Cheryl A Bersch December 09, 2012 at 07:34 AM
Frank, that how prohibition was ended. State by state voting for legalization of alcohol until the feds gave up and decrimilized alchol once more. Marijuana wasn't always illegal in the U.S. you know.
Chris james December 09, 2012 at 01:36 PM
Everyone on the planet knows how to use google why is everyone so damn stupid? STUDIES have proven stoned drivers are more than 25% LESS likely to get in an accident, they are more cautious and better more focused drivers overall, get real people look at the damn proof before you go spouting off nonsense... People like all of you ignorant people (republicans)...lol need to do your research and see that marijuana has a place in not just america, but worldwide and that this is not the beggining of the end but the the next stage of our awarness and fulfillment of our destiny, and release from our enslavement of tyranny by few scared and ignorant Individuals
JuneGloom December 09, 2012 at 04:44 PM
Sarcasm, not usually recognized in Kirkland or Seattle, is again not recognized.
Jeanne Gustafson December 09, 2012 at 04:49 PM
Sometimes sarcasm doesn't come across in print, JuneGloom.
JuneGloom December 09, 2012 at 05:49 PM
yea I know, JG. but c'mon, your mothers? od's from too much marijuanaing? Marijuana is safer than alcohol. I'm glad we have the option now. Really, no one has ever od'ed from pot.
Todd Ruth December 09, 2012 at 06:44 PM
There is a lot more to the legalization of marijuana than I think most know. If you think it is about  personal freedom, you are mistaken. This is all about big a business that is up and coming and they are calling it the "Green Rush". With medical marijuana gaining support in various states, the people that supply this product would like to expand their business. To do that they have to decriminalize marijuana by turning it from a negative to a positive in public's eye. So they are partnering with politicians and law enforcement to get this done. They are like any other business and have lobbyist for the cause. One person behind this movement is Tim Trimpa, who was the architect in the Democrats' takeover of Colorado. Now since Colorado is the leading pot producing state, they have created more than 4000 jobs with hundreds of them in the six figures. They also claim billions will be made by the state with new taxes on the product, empty the jails and stop the drug cartels. Here in Washington, it is no different. I think with the new liquor laws that went into effect this past summer, the state was looking for some new revenue. The politicians were approached to create more state jobs. To help the cause, the I-502 ad that was run on TV was well done and there was no opposition to it. Also seeing how the proponents of I-502 had millions to spend while the opposition had nothing, it ran unopposed making people I think that would have voted against it vote for it.
Donna Salins December 09, 2012 at 07:31 PM
Mr. McCoy and Mr. Bennett, Just reading through this exchange. Not a pot smoker (although I have to admit I participated in the 70's) and not really a drinker either, but through life experience and observing others - I can tell you I'd rather be in a State of legal pot smokers than drinkers of alcohol. You, two, are refreshingly logical and my heros. I have nothing negative to say about Mr. James, although I've dealt with many people, who "have to be right" and cannot grant other people their own opinion. Why they are inclined not to grant other people their opinions, is beyond me; but I will grant him his "opinions", as long as he purports that is what they are. These are my feelings and opinions - based on life - which, in my book, is rather scientific. Thanks for speaking out, Mr. McCoy and Mr. Bennett. With appreciation, Donna Salins
Local Guy December 09, 2012 at 08:12 PM
@Todd While much of what you speak is true, please make no mistake that for some this has been a lifelong crusade and we are far more informed then you might think. For me it is all about personal freedom, the obscene waste of public funds, and the ruination of innocent lives needlessly. Furthermore, much of what you present in regards to the economics of the movement, can be flipped and presented as why the US Government is opposed to legalization ie; exclusive licensing agreements with Eli Lilly for the distribution of synthetic Marionol, or the protection of law enforcement's gravy train pig trough.
Mark Bennett December 09, 2012 at 08:20 PM
JG: I am the biggest fan of sarcasm in the world, however there are too many ignorant folks posting here that your comment blended right in with their sentiments and lost its effectiveness.
Jeanne Gustafson December 09, 2012 at 08:47 PM
I'm a big fan of sarcasm, too. I'm guessing if the wit wasn't obvious to me, I'm not alone in that. I call it the 'net effect. A lot of straight man comments here could be read either way if you don't know the commenter.
Ken James December 10, 2012 at 02:04 AM
@Chris - I know how to use Google too. Look what I found when I 'Googled' the search term "How does marijuana effect driving" Here, I'll make it simple for you: http://www.bing.com/search?q=how+does+marijuana+effect+driving&qs=n&form=QBRE&pq=how+does+marijuana+effect+driving&sc=1-33&sp=-1&sk= Look what I found (among others): http://alcoholism.about.com/od/pot/a/pot_driving.htm http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/marijuana-abuse/does-marijuana-use-affect-driving So it seems that there is variety of opinions on this topic. You, and Donna's hero's, are of the opinion that people under the influence of marijuana drive as well as, or better than, people who are sober. Anyone who has been under the influence of marijuana or who has observed the behavior of those significantly under the influence would understand that this statement is obviously false unless you have no understanding of the physiological changes and/or you have no understanding about how they affect driving skills For a more medical/sterile description of the effects of marijuana, you can look at: http://www.rightdiagnosis.com/m/marijuana/symptoms.htm If you look at the realistic list of symptoms and characteristics, can you tell me that none of them are likely to negatively impact driving performance? Why is it that so many are willing to disregard scientific evidence merely to justify their position on legalization of a particular drug? Dangerous tunnel vision.
Mark Bennett December 10, 2012 at 03:06 AM
Ken wrote: "You, and Donna's hero's, are of the opinion that people under the influence of marijuana drive as well as, or better than, people who are sober." I presume you were referring to me when you said "Donna's hero" but I don't recall ever saying that people under the influence of cannabis are better drivers. I said that some studies show that hemp users are better drivers which is not the same thing at all. It could be that hemp users are better drivers when they are not under the influence which I explained in a previous posting. If you were not referring to me, then accept my apologies.
Bob McCoy December 10, 2012 at 04:04 AM
I have to agree with the main thread here, JuneGloom, you didn't give enough context to separate the wheat from the chaff. Maybe something like "What will your mothers say when they find your cold corpse, dead from too much Marijuanaing? Plenty of overdoses will be coming. I know this first-hand because I've been committing a quick suicide by smoking dope heavily the past ten years."
ira sacharoff December 10, 2012 at 05:39 AM
Then there's the old joke about the difference between the drunk driver and the stoned driver. The drunk driver flies past the stop sign and doesn't even slow down. The stoned driver stops for it and waits for it to turn green.
Nancy Cunningham December 10, 2012 at 05:41 AM
Yes, I do mean Michael Phelps....the guy who said how sorry he was to get caught using drugs. He was an idol to many young people, and he let them down by doing an illegal substance that put him in contact with other law breakers. Perfect example, Mark. Phelps never said pot helped his efforts to win gold medals. What he did say was that he was sorry that he got involved with it.....
Mark Bennett December 10, 2012 at 05:55 AM
So Nancy: If you believe that Michael Phelps' expression of regret was sincere, I have a bridge over the East River in New York you might be interested in buying. He made that statement because he was at risk of losing his lucrative product endorsement contracts. The comment about having a bad back from sitting on the couch etc was incredibly silly and illustrates how little many know or understand about a subject they pretend to be experts regarding. If you think for an instant that he has quit using it, you are even more naive and unworldly than I thought humanly possible.
Jason F. December 10, 2012 at 06:45 AM
"I'm sure that if there is a verifiable increase in driving accidents attributable to cannabis use, the laws will change." Retroactive change due to hundreds to thousands of innocent people that died in these car accidents...what a terrible logic pattern. You probably voted for Obama too and think socialized communist healthcare will solve all your problems. Glad you aren't in charge of policy/law making....pro-active change and prevention is what we are going for here...not "lets let the world go to hell..then see if we can salvage it"
Jason F. December 10, 2012 at 06:48 AM
Just to clear the air...I am also OK with the fly on the bridge. Just as a clarifying question, is this a fruit fly or the least common Horn fly?
Jason F. December 10, 2012 at 06:53 AM
Like many people here I have had the experience of personally knowing people I grew up with that made the decision to begin smoking MJ throughout middle/high school and well into their college days. The joys of FB is that I still get to keep in contact with many people. The effects MJ had on those that chose to smoke it are staggering. The term "Pot Brain" certainly has weight to it. To say that MJ does not have long term damage on the brain is not educating themselves. Anybody that has a chronic habit of smoking MJ is far more dangerous in the public than those who do not. We already have enough bad drivers in Washington...most of them in Seattle...this is just adding to it.
Jason F. December 10, 2012 at 07:09 AM
Well said Nancy...I feel the same way...
Jason F. December 10, 2012 at 07:14 AM
"People like all of you ignorant people (republicans)" LOL, pretty sure your credibility just fell 25 stories from the truth tower. I love how passionate you are about expanding the campaign of illegal drugs.....I wish people could be as passionate about ending world hunger, or homelessness...or solving real world problems...not adding to them...but then again...you are a liberal democrat that thinks Obamacare will be the answer to American's healthcare...
Mark Bennett December 10, 2012 at 07:24 AM
Joshua B: Without trying to insult you, you seem to be on a bad LSD trip or something like that. Let’s examine what you wrote. You said: “Retroactive change due to hundreds to thousands of innocent people that died in these car accidents …” Where did you get those numbers? Did you just make them up in your head? Is there a voice in your head telling you those numbers? You also wrote: “You probably voted for Obama too and think socialized communist healthcare will solve all your problems.” Did your Rice Crispies tell you to write that? So you believe that the probability is greater that I voted for Obama than not. Humm! Where did you derive that statistical conclusion, a Magic Eight Ball? Do you want me to put forth “arguments” saying: “You are most likely a battered masturbator and have a hate-on for anyone who doesn’t believe exactly like you do, therefore you are stupid?” Is that the way you think debating should go? If so, please go to some other site and stop pretending like you have anything worthwhile to contribute.
Jason F. December 10, 2012 at 08:38 AM
Haha, yes Mark, I am a big advocate for not legalizing MJ, and I myself seem to be high as a kite on LSD. Makes sense right? :) "An estimated 10839 people in the United States died in 2009 in drunk driving crashes last year, accounting for 32% of total traffic deaths." Century Council Statistics You clearly have a liberal mindset, and since this is not my first ride around the block, I can smell one a mile off. It's not hard to draw conclusions from your narrow-minded agenda. It's odd you told me that I don't contribute to the forum, and your entire last post was devoted to things I didn't say. Liberals are always so ironic and hypocritical...always so entertaining.
Mark Bennett December 10, 2012 at 05:19 PM
Joshua B: When I mentioned LSD I was trying to be polite. Obviously you are not intellectually equipped to understand that so I'll put it in basic terms. I think you are either mentally ill or a fourth grader who has unsupervised access to your parent's computer. Whenever I encounter simpletons using terms like "liberal" or "conservative" I immediately know that their understanding of politics is of a meager and unsatisfactory nature. If by "liberal" you mean I think liberty is a good thing, then yes, you are correct. You will never in your life come across a person who detests big intrusive socialist government more than I do. It is clear that so far on this thread that the majority of what you posted been incorrect, sophomoric, or stupid. Have you no shame at all? YOU are the one who worships big government for you want it to control our lives and tell us what we can and cannot ingest. Once you get into middle school and high school, I'm hoping that you will not sleep through your civics class and may someday come to understand the core values our Founding Fathers enshrined in the US constitution. Until then, please go back to playing Wii and leave adult discussions to the adults.
Mark Bennett December 10, 2012 at 05:21 PM
Nancy Cunningham: Were you not the person who first brought up Mr. Phelp's apology? If so, why did you think it was important to mention?
Mark Bennett December 10, 2012 at 05:45 PM
Part (1) of (2) Nancy: You wrote: "Mark...why do your comments have to include a personal reference or attack on another poster? It detracts from your point." Why don't you ask that question of Joshua B.? I have put forth rock solid logical evidence and you and Joshua are obviously totally immune to such. Reason, truth and logic have no effect on you and you assign zero value to them. Trying to use logic, facts and reason with you and JB is like trying to teach my dog differential equations. She is simply not intellectually equipped to fathom mathematics just as you and Joshua B are incapable of logical argument. However I’ll give it one more try.
Mark Bennett December 10, 2012 at 05:45 PM
Part (2) of (2) Cannabis use was legal in the USA until 1937. Forty years of motor vehicle use and cannabis use did not see to produce the pile of carnage you two are so confident will be forthcoming to Washington State. The reason cannabis was essentially outlawed was because in 1937 Harry J. Anslinger, director of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics testified before congress stating: "Marijuana is the most violence causing drug in the history of mankind." "Most marijuana smokers are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing, result from marijuana usage. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes." The movie Reefer Madness was funded by the distilled spirits industry in an effort to eliminate competition and the result is the millions of Americans killed on the roads from drunk drivers. Is this sinking in yet? It is the hemp prohibitionists who are to no small degree responsible for the alcohol related deaths on America’s roads. Thank goodness that there are enough mature voters in Washington to shake-off the old racist, troglodyte mind-set which caused so much misery for our nation. I'm through with you and your oppressive, government-worshiping mindset. You have repeatedly proven that nothing you are capable of posting here is worthy of a response. Good day.
Local Guy December 10, 2012 at 05:51 PM
I wrote a letter of complaint and boycotted General Mills for 6 months. Cost em 4 boxes of cereal a month for 6 months before the wife started back dooring me on grocery store runs... And Mr Phelps still plays for the MJ team...
Mark Bennett December 11, 2012 at 03:25 AM
Check-out it. http://www.wakingtimes.com/2012/12/10/cannabidiols-offer-boost-towards-a-healthy-cancer-free-body/ It is almost enough to entice a fellow to start smoking the stuff.
CosmoThor December 11, 2012 at 10:05 PM
Mark, I am impressed with the number of bridge-related come backs you seem to possess, haha :)


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