In all the smoky confusion coming out of Olympia’s chronic attempt legislate medical marijuana, one basic fact seemed to escape the attention of many attending this year’s Hempfest at Wright Park.
It’s still illegal to smoke marijuana.
According to the Trib article describing police arrests at Tacoma’s Hempfest several people were cited for marijuana possession as well as possession of drug paraphernalia, including pot pipes. Not surprisingly, some of those given citations were also people deeply involved in (pardon the pun) grassroots effort to legalize pot. People with such current information on marijuana legalization efforts should not have ben surprised by police enforcement, yet one individual was quoted, “I was dumbfounded” after being cited for having drug pipes.
Many cities were expecting more progress – either towards legalization or definite language against – from Olympia legislators. The City of Tacoma and the police department deserved credit for allowing medical marijuana dispensaries a temporary reprieve while awaiting direction from the state.
The answer came this spring when legislators and the Governor , in a typically half-baked manner (again, pardon), provided a few minor changes. But the overriding question of pot’s legality has been reaffirmed. Marijuana is still illegal.
So its back to the drawing board for marijuana legalization advocates. To wit, possession of a marijuana pipe showing evidence of having been used for that purpose (black residue in the bowl) is a misdemeanor. Possession of a marijuana brownie is a misdemeanor. Smoking a joint, ditto.
So if you were motivated enough to break out a blunt at Hempfest, don’t blame the cop for writing you a criminal cite. Yell at your legislator instead.