Washington and Colorado became the first states to legalize recreational use of marijuana for adults over 21 this November, and Washington state will now enforce a DUID (driving under the influence of drugs) provision which determines when a person can be charged with driving under the influence of marijuana.
The Washington State Liquor Control Board will decide which establishments may grow, process, and distribute marijuana. Citizens have not been given the right to do home growing. At each level of marijuana manufacturing, from grower to processor, processor to retailer, and retailer to consumer, there will be a 25% tax. This is projected to potentially produce $500 million per annum for the state.
Marijuana’s principal psychoactive constituent (the chemical substance that crosses the blood-brain barrier and acts on the central nervous system) is tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. This is the chemical that stays in the blood stream even after the effects of cannabis have worn off. THC can stay in the bloodstream for days after ingestion.
The potential for DUID under the new law has become a hot topic in the Initiative 502 discussion. Lawmakers are hoping to hash out the particulars of the laws for the initiative by December 6th of this year, but it may take up to one year to work out who will be legally allowed to sell cannabis.
Everyone, from marijuana users to law enforcement, has concerns about the new DUID law. Message boards about I-502 are warning marijuana users of the potential for a DUI marijuana in Washington, and an interview with law enforcement officers in Clallam County reveals that some are confused about how to enforce DUID.
This week, King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg dismissed ALL pending misdemeanor marijuana cases.