Three recent incidents have me convinced that there really isn’t a law that prohibits smoking pot in public.
A few months ago I was walking alongside a local business with my 10-year-old daughter when I smelled that skunk-like scent of marijuana being smoked. It came from a pipe that a transient was smoking near a bus stop. As my daughter and I rounded the corner, we saw a police car. Thinking that this would be a great moment for a life lesson for my child, I knocked on the officer’s window, asking him if it was illegal to smoke pot in public. He said, “Yes, it is.” I then asked if he would please give a ticket to the pot smoker I had just seen. He said he would, but I never saw him act on it.
About a month ago, while waiting for a bus, I saw a teenage boy brazenly pull out his pot pipe and start smoking away. I told him he couldn’t do that in public, to which he replied, “It’s legal, isn’t it?” Apparently so, as minutes later a Lacey police car drove slowly past the guy, without paying a bit of attention.
The third time I saw this lack of enforcement was when a female police officer exited the local credit union on Sixth Avenue. I stopped her to ask, “What is the amount of the fine for someone smoking pot in public?” She replied, “I don’t know. I really don’t.”
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Correct me if I’m wrong, but it is my understanding that this what police officers are supposed to do: Enforce the law!