As of December 6th, 2012, new laws went into effect for the State of Washington regarding the legal use of marijuana for non-medical purposes. With this new law came provisions regarding driving under the influence of the drug; here are answers to some FAQs.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding I-502 Provisions

Who can possess marijuana legally?

Any person over the age of 21 can legally possess marijuana or marijuana infused products.

How much marijuana can you legally posses?

  • 1 oz of usable marijuana
  • 16 oz marijuana – infused product in solid form
  • 72 oz of marijuana – infused product in liquid form

Can You Use Marijuana In Public?

Similar to open container laws as they relate to alcohol, it is illegal to use marijuana or marijuana infused products, or have an open package containing marijuana or marijuana infused products in public.

What is being tested when suspected of driving under the influence of marijuana?

The .05 ng level that police will be testing for is of active THC.  Active THC is the chemical in marijuana that would cause impairment, and levels of .05 ng levels are said to lower within hours of use. You may have heard that marijuana can show up in blood tests for up to 30 days or more. This is referring to carboxy-THC, which is stored in fat cells and is not counted as a basis of impairment.

How is marijuana intoxication tested at a traffic stop?

Procedures in dealing with drug related impairment will remain unchanged. If driving under the influence of a drug is suspected at a traffic stop,  there are over 200“Drug Recognition Experts” that are specially trained to do a 40 minute evaluation that would be called to the scene. Based on the evaluation, the driver would be asked to have their blood drawn at a medical facility, with drivers with more than 4 previous DUIs having no choice but to give blood. At this point, a search warrant can also be obtained.

Official I-502 Provisions

Sec. 20 (3): “The possession, by a person twenty-one years of age or older, of useable marijuana or marijuana-infused products in amounts that do not exceed those set forth in section 15(3) of this act is not a violation of this section, this chapter, or any other provision of Washington state law.”

Sec.15 (3) lists the amounts that a person twenty-one years of age or older may possess:

–  One ounce of usable marijuana

– Sixteen ounces of marijuana-infused product in solid form

–  Seventy-two ounces of marijuana-infused product in liquid form

 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.”

 Sec. 22 makes the use, delivery, and the possession or manufacture with intent to deliver drug paraphernalia illegal only for controlled substances other than marijuana.


If you feel your rights have been violated according to the new law, contact Jensen Legal today for a free consultation regarding your marijuana charge.