Since marijuana went on sale in the state of Washington in August, retailers have been selling their products in various forms. In East Wenatchee, just like other cities in the state, marijuana has been legalized for recreational use since Washington state residents voted in its favor in the 2012 General Election. State officials have been actively involved in working out details on how marijuana is grown, processed, and sold within the state’s borders.

Various Tactics

Law enforcement has a tougher job on its hands especially when it comes to issues like driving under the influence and coping with unlicensed marijuana dealers. According to state law, any individual 21 years or older can purchase and carry an ounce of marijuana at a time. Anyone found in possession of more than the specified amount would be liable to pay a fine. For the most part, with laws in place, enforcement officials have to adopt various tactics to enforce the rules.

Growers of medical marijuana are limited to growing 15 plants as an individual and up to 45 as a collective operation. The drug task force has the authority to monitor growth operations and ensure compliance with regulations. However, some legitimate medical marijuana users try to make a profit by growing in excess of the stipulated limit.

Offenders are likely to be prosecuted but problems with heroin and meth have kept the focus away from marijuana for the moment. Currently there are around 27 licensed marijuana retail growers which include one in Wenatchee in Douglas County, four in Chelan, and others in Brewster, Cashmere, and Riverside, to name a few.  Retailers with licenses are in East Wenatchee and other cities like Okanogan and Winthrop.

Deputies have a variety of ways to determine whether a driver is under the influence and impaired. At a traffic stop one of the first steps of police officers is to determine if a driver is impaired, and then determine what the driver is impaired by. Motorists are usually first questioned about whether the he been drinking or under the influence of any substance like marijuana. If they refuse to disclose and the officers have reasonable doubt, they may issue a breath test.

A Small Amount

Douglas County DUI attorneys say that if a motorist is impaired but no alcohol is found on his or her breath, the officer may seek to determine what the individual has consumed and the level of substance in the system. While anyone found with a BAC of .08 percent can be charged with a DUI, the legal limit for marijuana is 5 nanograms per milliliter of blood.

A blood test is the only reliable method to determine the level of THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol, the main mind altering ingredient in the cannabis plant. Urine tests are inconclusive since they do not show if an individual has recently used marijuana. A single dose of THC can produce traces of metabolites in urine for at least 12 days after consumption, which is long after the mind altering effects of marijuana have worn off.

Assent and Descent

Douglas County DUI lawyers say that it is essential to determine if a driver is impaired and therefore unable to operate a motor vehicle than to know the exact level of THC in the bloodstream. Motorists are liable to be convicted on a DUI charge if tests indicate a level of 5 ng/ml of THC in the bloodstream and they are found to be impaired. Upon inhalation, THC levels in the blood rise quickly since smoke is rapidly absorbed by the blood stream. The level can peak to more than 100 ng/ml five to 10 minutes post inhalation and then rapidly decrease to 1 to 4 ng/ml in three to four hours.

Whether it is alcohol or marijuana, it is always prudent to be safe than sorry when it comes to driving. The main issue is not the level of THC or BAC of 0.08 percent but being responsible by refraining from getting behind the wheel or designating another driver after consuming alcohol, marijuana or any other substance.