A new law legalizing recreational marijuana use in Washington takes effect today. Adults 21 and over are allowed to possess up to one ounce of marijuana, and while many in the state are lighting up and celebrating the law today, not everyone is supporting it. Steve Sarich is the Executive Director of the Cannibis Action Coalition and runs a local dispensary for medical marijuana patients. He’s also the Manager of the "No on I-502" Committee, which was the most vocal opponent of the Washington law being passed. He shares his view live from Seattle on “Starting Point” this morning.
Sarich and the “No on I-502” group have filed a lawsuit attempting to get the law overturned. The committee sites new DUI rules for their opposition. “My job is to protect patients in the state of Washington,” Sarich says. “And this law criminalizes every single medical marijuana patient every single time they drive,” especially for those under 21. Sarich explains that active THC can stay in the system for up to 30 days. So “that legal joint you smoked two weeks ago is still in your system today, and under the new law if you get pulled over, and they take your blood, you’re going to be guilty of per se DUID” which is “a life changing crime for those under 21.”
He considers the new driving laws and possession limit arbitrary. “We’re not talking about impairment. We’re not taking about highway safety. We’re talking convicting people simply for having trace amounts of THC in their blood,” Sarich says. “Now they’re saying you can legally have an ounce of marijuana, you just better not put it in your body.”