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Washington State Patrol On Lookout For Open Containers of Marijuana

Drug Enforcement Agency

The Washington State Patrol has a warning for drivers: it’s now illegal to have an open container of marijuana in the passenger compartments of vehicles.

The new pot-in-cars law is modeled on Washington’s longstanding open container law for alcohol. Just like you can’t drive down the road with an open beer, no longer can you legally drive with an open container of marijuana or marijuana infused products.

Trooper Mark Hodgson said even a closed Ziploc bag is a violation.

“If you can open that bag and get into it and then reseal it, that’s not going to meet the requirement,” he said.

The requirement is that marijuana products go in the trunk or back of the vehicle where they’re not accessible. The glove box doesn’t count. It is OK to have marijuana or marijuana products in the passenger compartment if they’re in their original package and the seal has not been broken.

Troopers say for now they’re mainly trying to get the word out, but an open container violation can bring a $136 ticket.

Copyright 2021 Northwest News Network. To see more, visit Northwest News Network.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."