If you're planning a vacation to Washington State in the near future with the opportunity to experience legal recreational marijuana in mind, you're in luck — dispensaries are found in towns and cities all over the state. If you are 21 years of age or older, you'll be able to purchase and use designated amounts of cannabis products. However, simply because marijuana is legal in Washington State doesn't mean you can't be prosecuted if you run afoul of applicable laws. Here's what you need to know to get the most out of your upcoming vacation to the great state of Washington while staying within the letter of the law when it comes to recreational cannabis products.
Public Consumption Is Against the Law
You won't be able to relax on a park bench and enjoy recreational marijuana anywhere in Washington State because public consumption is against the law. Many visitors make the mistake of thinking that it's okay to smoke marijuana wherever tobacco products are allowed, such as the patio or balcony of a hotel room, but this is not the case. Even if you're in a private home where the hosts allow marijuana smoking, you will have to do so out of sight of the general public. For instance, you won't be able to sit on the front porch and light up if you can be seen from the street, sidewalk, or neighboring properties. You also won't be able to consume marijuana in the retail shop where you purchased it.
Federal Lands Are Also Off-Limits
Because cannabis and its derivatives remain illegal on a federal level, you won't be able to partake on federal property, including national parks and forests, military bases, Department of Energy property, and federally owned wildlife refuges. If you're planning on combining your recreational marijuana use with a ski vacation, keep in mind that many of Washington State's ski resorts are situated on federal lands.
Private Consumption Is Generally Legal
There are some hotels located in the state of Washington that permit the smoking of marijuana in the individual rooms, but these must be designated smoking rooms where the use of tobacco products. You may want to consider seeking out a private rental as well — these can be found on various vacation rental sites and will generally be advertised as cannabis-friendly. Dispensaries may also keep lists of vacation rentals that allow consumption on their premises. As mentioned previously, consumption on private property must take place outside of the view of the general public, such as on the enclosed back deck or walled garden of cannabis-friendly private rental.
Be Prepared to Pay in Cash
Be prepared to pay for your dispensary purchases in cash. Dispensaries aren't able to use traditional banking services to accept check, credit, or debit card payments because these transactions are federally regulated. Most dispensaries will have an on-site ATM machine or will be situated within convenient walking distance of one, but these generally come with fees and often simply run out of money if the dispensary is located in a busy part of the city.
You Can't Take It With You
Taking cannabis products in any form out of Washington when it's time to return from your vacation will land you in hot water if you're caught. Although it may be tempting to take a few souvenirs home with you, you may be facing charges not only from the state of Washington but also from your own state as well. In some cases, you may also be charged with a federal crime. Keep in mind that transporting violations are applicable to medicinal marijuana as well — even if you've got a prescription from a qualified physician.
When was the last time you got outside and really enjoyed your time away from work? A few years ago, I realized that there were some real problems with the way I was spending my free time, and it really caused some issues. For example, I was starting to gain an inordinate amount of weight, and I could really feel things starting to slip. I decided that it would be smart to start focusing on recreational activities and sports, and that simple decision saved my life. Within a few short months, I started feeling more energetic than ever before, and it was really powerful. Check out this blog for more information about spending time in recreational settings.