WASHINGTON: When it comes to setting limits on driving while under the influence, the architects of Washington’s legal marijuana law largely aimed to imitate the state’s rules for alcohol.
In one crucial respect, though, state officials say the legal pot law is different: There’s no explicit language saying that you can’t smoke marijuana in a car.
The Washington Traffic Safety Commission wants state lawmakers to fix that oversight when they reconvene in January. The commission plans to ask the Legislature to create a clear rule stating that neither drivers nor their passengers can smoke or have open packages of marijuana inside a vehicle, said Darrin Grondel, director of the Washington Traffic Safety Commission.
Grondel said the goal is to mirror the state’s open container law, which says drivers can’t have open, partially consumed or unsealed containers of alcohol inside the passenger cabin of a car. An opened and recorked bottle of wine, for instance, should go in the trunk or a locked vehicle compartment, according to state law.
Initiative 502, which Washington state voters approved in 2012 to legalize recreational pot use, contained no language setting up the same rule for marijuana, Grondel said.