Many aficionados are frustrated that there is no where to consume cannabis except your home. Which can be especially frustrating for tourists who don’t have a home per se, but a temporary room in a hotel which most likely doesn’t allow you to toke up. But, after taking a closer look at the laws and regulations set forth by the Washington State Liquor Control board (WSLCB), it seems that you might have a little bit more freedom than you first thought.
The following is taken directly from the FAQ’s page on the WSLCB website:
The initiative says I cannot consume marijuana in public. What is the definition of “in public?”
Initiative 502 states that it is unlawful to open/consume a package of marijuana or marijuana infused product in view of the general public.
According to the answer given, it is only unlawful if you open or consume a package of marijuana or edibles in VIEW of the general public (ordinary people not associated with a particular group). In other words, if you are not in view of the general public, it seems that you have the freedom to light up a joint or consume a cannabis-infused product outside.
If you take a closer look at the actual lingo from the actual measure, it states:
NEW SECTION. Sec. 21. It is unlawful to open a package containing marijuana, useable marijuana, or a marijuana-infused product, or consume marijuana, useable marijuana, or a marijuana infused product, in view of the general public. A person who violates this section is guilty of a class 3 civil infraction under chapter 7.80 RCW.
So, if you took a stroll to a park and you are all alone, wouldn’t you be out of view of the general public? If you took a walk with a friend through the artsy Nord Alley in downtown Seattle, and you were both alone, wouldn’t you be out of view of the general public? If you were on a Pier by the water overlooking the port, and it was just you, wouldn’t you be out of view of the general public?
So, what happens if you go to one of the above mentioned places, light up a joint or pull out your grindhouse shift vape, and a cop approaches you with a citation? Then I guess you weren’t out of view of the general public, now were you?
Here on Capitol Hill, we don’t remember the last day we walked outside and didn’t smell the wonderful scent of cannabis. We smell it all the time while walking through the neighborhood. It really isn’t a big deal. But, if you are visiting from a different state or live in a more conservative area, it seems like you may have some options.