taylor wofford

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Washington: Open Container Law Passed For Marijuana


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Don't keep those roaches in the ashtray! Drivers in Washington state, where recreational marijuana is legal, after September 26 will be required to keep all cannabis in the trunk of a vehicle, in an unopened container, or behind the rearmost row of seats.

House Bill 1276 will update Washington's open container law to include marijuana, reports Taylor Wofford at Newsweek.

The law also restores the ability of the state to automatically suspend a driver's license if a blood test shows the driver's blood THC level to be five nanograms per milliliter (5 ng/ml) or higher.

The Associated Press erroneously reported that licenses would be suspended if the blood test showed the driver to be under the influence of marijuana, but the test shows no such thing -- it merely shows the presence of cannabis metabolites in the blood, and according to most experts, there's not much of a correlation between 5 ng/ml and impairment in most marijuana users.

The Washington Traffic Safety Commission pushed for the change to make the state's rules restricting marijuana more closely resemble those for alcohol -- never mind that the two substances have wildly different effects. State law already prohibited unsealed or partially consumed containers of alcohol in the passenger cabin of a vehicle.

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