Law Enforcement Officials Try To Figure Out How To Enforce Marij - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Law Enforcement Officials Try To Figure Out How To Enforce Marijuana In Washington State

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SPOKANE, WASH. - Marijuana is now legal in Washington state, but you can have no more than an ounce on your person. Voters in the state of Washington gave a tough task to law enforcement when they asked the state legalize, tax and regulate a product that is illegal everywhere in the country.

As far as local law enforcement goes, you're not going to see many changes right away. Spokane Police Chief Frank Straub says his department continues to invest the majority of its time into violent crimes and not so much marijuana. Still, they want to hear from the higher-ups.

"People always say the devil is in the details," Straub said. "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."

Because it is still illegal on a federal level, Chief Straub says it will be hard to act against what the Drug Enforcement Agency wants. Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich agrees, but he says his deputies will receive extra training so they will be able to recognize when drivers are under the influence of marijuana. Drivers that deputies believe may be under the influence of marijuana will be asked to take a blood test.

The U.S. Attorneys Office released a statement saying their position on marijuana remains unchanged, encouraging the people of Washington to remember that selling or possessing marijuana remains illegal under federal law. They specifically advised against bringing any amount of marijuana onto federal property, like your courthouse, as well as national parks or military institutions.  

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