OLYMPIA, Wash. -- It’s now legal to possess up to one ounce of marijuana in Washington state, but you can’t smoke it in public.
Nor can have you have more than an ounce. And you can't grow it or sell it without breaking federal laws and until the state of Washington develops guidelines on how pot gets distributed.
Clark County sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Fred Neiman said Oregonians are free to do what they wish after crossing the Columbia, but "we don't encourage people to come into our state to possess marijuana."
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.
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In an email to officers, the Seattle police 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.
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Voters in Washington and Colorado last month made those the first states to decriminalize and regulate the recreational use of marijuana.
The state’s medical marijuana law is not affected by the new law.