MARIJUANA IN WASHINGTON STATE
Washington State Law sets a per se DUI limit of “delta-9” THC levels at greater than or equal to 5 nanograms per milliliter of blood (5 ng/mL). State and local law enforcement agencies are tasked with enforcing the DUI limit.Washington State law states that you cannot consume marijuana in public. What is the definition of “in public?” In Washington, the law states that it is unlawful to open/consume a package of marijuana or marijuana infused product in view of the general public.
Can marijuana purchased legally in Washington be transported to other states? No. Marijuana and marijuana products are to be consumed in Washington State.
Marijuana DUI Laws
Washington state allows recreational use, sale and purchase of marijuana. Washington legalized marijuana in 2012, and has faced unique challenges to safely implement the law. Washington did not start licensing marijuana retailers for marijuana sales until July 2014. Some state officials believe Washington marijuana facilities may run out of product. Marijuana sales are expected to offer a boon to Washington’s economy, though licensing process is mired in red tape.
Law enforcement across Washington State are preparing for a likely increase of DUIs due to marijuana. Officers claim that marijuana-related DUIs increased after voters approved home growing and use in 2012. Now users are no longer restricted to backyard pot, and can also legally buy from local licensed marijuana dispenser facilities. Police fear that an increase of use due to the now-legal sales will lead to more Washington drivers getting behind the wheel while impaired by marijuana.
DUI in Washington
In Washington, a driver may be charged with a DUI if “he or she is found to be driving a vehicle under the influence [of]…any drug…[and] the definition of a drug also includes any chemical inhaled or ingested for its intoxicating or hallucinatory effects.” If convicted in court, the driver may face harsh penalties including fines up to $5,000, driver’s license suspension, and mandatory jail time.
What is the federal government going to do? On August 29, 2013 the Attorney General, Eric Holder requested Governor Jay Inslee to outline the federal government’s guidance on legalized marijuana. That guidance was also outlined in a memo which focuses on eight points of federal emphasis such as youth access and public safety. The memo does not change federal law. Governor Inslee’s office is maintaining an open dialogue with the federal government.
Since marijuana is legal in Washington can the federal government still prosecute me? Yes. Washington State’s Marijuana law, does not preempt federal law. Presently Washington State residents involved in marijuana production /retailing could still be subject to prosecution if the federal government chooses to do so.
Can the federal government confiscate my assets? Yes. Confiscation of assets is one of the enforcement tactics available to federal authorities.
Immigration and DUI
Can you be deported for a conviction of driving under the influence (DUI)?
Immigration law does not specify driving under the influence (DUI) as grounds for deportation.