Issaquah City Council passes marijuana open container law

July 15, 2014

By Peter Clark

Wait until you get home in Issaquah before opening your legal marijuana.

The City Council unanimously approved new regulations for the use of recreational marijuana during its regular meeting July 7.

The regulations adopt two provisions approved in the Initiative 502 referendum into Issaquah’s code. The two restrictions prohibit marijuana use “in view of the general public” and define driving under the influence of marijuana as having 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of the driver’s blood.

Additionally, the council approved an open container law for marijuana, necessitating any package in a vehicle remain sealed. This provision was not included in state law. Violating it in Issaquah would result in a fine of up to $250.

“I voted initially for I-502 for a lot of different reasons,” Council President Paul Winterstein said. “And I tell a lot of people that the most dangerous thing I do is operate a vehicle. It’s something we all choose to put ourselves at risk when we do it. So, I think anything that protects us while operate those vehicles is a good law.”

The regulations will allow the police department to more efficiently enforce marijuana laws in the city.

“I just want to thank the Issaquah Police Department for their role in this process,” Councilman Tola Marts said. “They have been very helpful in determining where the public safety issues are. I feel like we have really addressed the public safety aspects of this.”

The state Liquor Control Board has received 22 applications to open a retail marijuana store in Issaquah and has not approved any yet for the one store allotted to the city.

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2 Responses to “Issaquah City Council passes marijuana open container law”

  1. Storm Crow on July 16th, 2014 11:37 am

    Just a bit of info for you all when considering that ” 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of the driver’s blood”.

    From “UFC Raises Marijuana Testing Threshold” (4 June 2013)…”Three weeks after the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) raised the testing threshold for marijuana metabolites from 15 nanograms per milliliter to 150 ng/ml, the UFC announced that it would follow suit.”

    So their former “cut off” of 15 ng/ml, was considered too restrictive, and was raised to what they thought was a more reasonable level, 150 ng/ml. What does that say about the 5 ng/ml level? And as FORBES put it, “If Medical Marijuana Laws Cause A ‘Surge in Drugged Driving Deaths,’ Why Are Fatalities Falling?” (17 Feb 2014) .

  2. Darrel on July 17th, 2014 10:21 am

    re: “any package in a vehicle remain sealed.”
    So does this just require that if the “package” is just a baggie… or a prescription bottle, or an Altoids can be zipped, capped, or closed? This seems a bit silly and ineffective as a method to keep consumers from smoking and driving. It sounds like one could be puffing on a joint and driving – as long as their “container” is sealed? The objective of this “law” is difficult to understand. I realize smoking and driving is not legal nor wise, but the point is, what does a “closed container” law accomplish?

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