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Tracking Washington's Legal Marijuana

OPB | Aug. 20, 2013 12:06 p.m. | Updated: Sept. 11, 2013 1:20 a.m.

The Washington State Liquor Control Board recently put off its scheduled release of final rules for implementing the state’s legalized marijuana trade. Officials said they wanted more time to consider  feedback from public hearings this month. The agency says it’s still on track to have the rules in place by a December deadline.

Meanwhile, the state has trained 230 drug-recognition experts (DREs) to help determine whether drivers who have imbibed marijuana are impaired. Though the legal limit is clear — five nanograms per milliliter of THC — the active ingredient in pot, officers cannot compel a blood test without a warrant from a judge. And Washington’s traffic safety prosecutor, Moses Garcia, told OPB that this is a growing problem. He says the DREs can’t possibly handle all the calls throughout the state and that the field sobriety tests just aren’t designed to detect marijuana intoxication. 

Do you live in Washington? How do you think officers should ensure safe roads? 

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