Marijwhatnow? The Seattle Cops' Guide to Pot

By Bryan Le 11/16/12

City police release a comic-yet-useful FAQ, explaining what the now-legal status of marijuana means in practice.

Seattle's troopers are pretty super. Photo via

If you live in Washington state and you're still fuzzy on I-502, the newly-passed marijuana legalization initiative, the Seattle Police Department has got your back. In a blog post that suggests Seattle's finest have taken legalization in good spirits—Marijwhatnow? A Guide to Legal Marijuana Use In Seattlethey tell us the ins and outs of pot regulation in the kind of down-to-earth non-legalese that even chronic stoners can understand. There's even a handy "TL;DR" (too long; didn't read) section to sum things up. And finally, displaying a keen awareness of their target audience, the Seattle PD embeds a Lord of the Rings video clip, featuring Bilbo and Gandalf enjoying “the finest weed.” Here are some of the Frequently Asked Qs (and their As):

Can I legally carry around an ounce of marijuana?

According to the recently passed initiative, beginning December 6th, adults over the age of 21 will be able to carry up to an ounce of marijuana for personal use. Please note that the initiative says it “is unlawful to open a package containing marijuana…in view of the general public,” so there’s that. Also, you probably shouldn’t bring pot with you to the federal courthouse (or any other federal property).

Can I smoke pot outside my home? Like at a park, magic show, or the Bite of Seattle?

Much like having an open container of alcohol in public, doing so could result in a civil infraction—like a ticket—but not arrest. You can certainly use marijuana in the privacy of your own home. Additionally, if smoking a cigarette isn’t allowed where you are (say, inside an apartment building or flammable chemical factory), smoking marijuana isn’t allowed there either.

December 6th seems like a really long ways away. What happens if I get caught with marijuana before then?

Hold your breath. Your case will be processed under current state law. However, there is already a city ordinance making marijuana enforcement the lowest law enforcement priority.

SPD seized a bunch of my marijuana before I-502 passed. Can I have it back?


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Bryan Le grew up in the 90's, so the Internet is practically his third parent. This combined with a love for journalism led him to The Fix. When he isn't fulfilling his duties as Editorial Coordinator, he's obsessing over fancy keyboards he can't justify buying. Find Bryan on LinkedIn or Twitter