For the time being, you can let it all hang out while you drive in Washington. You can let your freak flag fly, your hair hang down, your joint burn up (just as long as you don’t let your blood get above five nanograms of THC per milliliter – watch those nanograms). For the moment, the actual act of smoking or dabbing or vaping or edible-scarfing isn’t illegal in a moving vehicle within state boundaries.
But a new law signed by Governor Jay Inslee this week means that moment is going to last about another 60 days. As of September 26, House Bill 1276 will go into effect and cannabis products will essentially be treated the same as alcohol when it comes to moving vehicle.
Opened packages, say a half-eaten cannabis cookie, a half-smoked OG roach, even a seal-broken baggy, jar, or container from a dispensary are no-gos in the front seat of a car. When old 1276 arrives, that stuff’s got to go in the trunk or behind the seats furthest from the controls if you’re more of a hatch guy than a trunk guy.
The idea, of course, is to normalize weed intoxication laws so they’re more in line with other ones in the culture. Shelly Baldwin, spokeswoman for the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, told the Bellingham Herald, “We’re really trying to separate using marijuana from driving, just like we do with alcohol.”
If it saves lives, awesome. If it makes weed law in Washington more respectable, awesome. But if, during the last days of this summer, you find yourself a passenger in a car with a sober driver and a jay in your pocket and you want to take advantage of a moment in time when you can still drive down the main strip and blow smoke out the window into the same wind that’s going to flow back into your hair and even if a pig sees it, it doesn’t even matter a little bit, well that’s awesome too.