SPOKANE, Wash. - The first provisions of Initiative 502, the measure legalizing marijuana for recreational use at the state level, will go into place Dec. 6, pending election certification later this month. On that date, up to one ounce of marijuana will be decriminalized. A public safety committee met in Spokane this afternoon to look at the affect across Spokane.
However, don't expect too many changes right away. Local law enforcement's approach to this new law is part status quo, part wait-and-see.
Spokane Police Chief Frank Straub told KHQ that his department is waiting on guidance from state and federal leaders to move forward with the new marijuana law, especially since his department doesn't target misdemeanor marijuana possession cases anyway.
"People say the devil's always in the details and we're going to have to wait on some level to see what comes down from the Governor's office and State Patrol and the Alcohol Control Board before we're able to make decisions, clear decisions," Straub said.
Indeed, there are a lot of questions about I-502, in part, because it puts state and federal drug laws at odds. In the public safety meeting Monday, Straub said that it will be hard for the city to act contrary to the DEA.
Not only that, but several Spokane City council members raised questions about how this new law will impact our city, including zoning laws and marketing of the drug.
While Straub waits for more information from the state and federal government, the city council plans to invite a member of the state Liquor and Control Board to a study session in Spokane in order to get a better understanding of this new law's potential impacts.