SEATTLE -- It’s now legal to possess up to one ounce of marijuana in Washington state, but you can’t smoke it in public.
At least for now, Seattle Police plan to look the other way on the latter part until people get used to the new law.
People gathered for indoor and outdoor celebrations across the state at 12:01 a.m. to light up in celebration. A small group celebrated outside Seattle’s Hempfest Central.
At Seattle’s Space Needle, it had a feel of New Year’s Eve with marijuana users counting down to midnight and lighting up.
In an email to officers, the department told them they should only issue verbal warnings in cases of public marijuana use "until further notice.”
Police spokesman Jonah Spangenthal-Lee wrote on the SPD Blotter that officers will be advising people to take their weed inside.
Or as Spangenthal-Lee put it: "The police department believes that, under state law, you may responsibly get baked, order some pizzas and enjoy a `Lord of the Rings' marathon in the privacy of your own home, if you want to.”
Once police start actually enforcing the law, it will be a $50 fine.
Voters in Washington and Colorado last month made those the first states to decriminalize and regulate the recreational use of marijuana.
The law does not mean that you can grow or sell your own pot, which means there’s no legal way to obtain it in Washington. The state is working on implementing a system to change that.
The state’s medical marijuana law is not affected by the new law.