July 26, 2015

Washington State Passes An Open Container Law For Marijuana

July 26, 2015
open container marijuana washington
open container marijuana washington
(image via Forbes)

The State of Washington has the worst marijuana legalization law on the books. I think that is common knowledge by now. Washington is the only state in America that has voted to legalize marijuana, yet doesn’t allow home cultivation. Washington State recently passed a ‘marijuana open container law’ which makes transporting marijuana more difficult than it has been since marijuana legalization took effect. Per Newsweek:

A new state law, House Bill 1276, will update the state’s open container laws for vehicles to include marijuana. The law stipulates that marijuana, like alcohol, must be kept in the trunk of a vehicle, in an unopened container, or in another part of the passenger cabin “not normally occupied or directly accessible by” the driver or passengers.

The law, signed by Governor Jay Inslee on June 30, will take effect September 26.

The law also restores the state’s ability to automatically suspend a driver’s license if a blood test reveals the driver to be under the influence of marijuana, The Associated Press reports.

The first question that popped in my mind when I read about this was ‘was is considered to be an ‘unopened container”? Obviously if you visit a licensed store and make a purchase and the packaging is sealed, that is unopened. But when if it’s an edible in a ‘pop top’ style package where there is no ‘seal’ to break? What if you have left over marijuana and keep it in a jar or something? It’s legal to possess and legal to consume, but only able to transport under somewhat unclear conditions? I think the vagueness of the ‘unopened container’ language is going to lead to some headaches.


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