Pot sting operations will use minors

SEATTLE — State officials will use minors in marijuana-buying stings next year when Washington’s new legal pot stores open.

Charged with implementing the new law that allows adults over age 21 to possess an ounce of pot, the state Liquor Control Board already uses minors in “controlled buys” of alcohol at retail stores.

The board’s enforcement chief said using the same strategy with marijuana makes sense, especially because federal officials want to make sure Washington restricts minors’ access to the drug.

“Of course the feds are looking at a tightly regulated market around youth access, and I think this shows we’re being responsible,” said Justin Nordhorn.

The agency also will ask the Legislature to set penalties for minors who attempt to purchase legal pot and those who use or manufacture fake ID cards for that purpose.

Alison Holcomb, chief author of the new law voters approved last year, agreed that using minors in pot-buying stings would support the state and federal emphasis on limiting youth access.

But as criminal-justice director for the ACLU of Washington, Holcomb does not believe that adding criminal laws for pot possession is a good idea. She said she would prefer a focus on other prevention strategies.

Nordhorn said there are currently no penalties for teenagers who try to buy legal pot. He’d like the offense to be a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor, and likewise for making or using fake IDs to buy pot.

Under liquor laws, it’s a misdemeanor to use a fake ID and a gross misdemeanor to manufacture a bogus one.

More in Local News

Agencies launch coordinated response to an opioid ‘emergency’

Health workers, law enforcement agencies and emergency managers are responding as they might to a disaster.

Jordan Evers distributes coffee Sunday afternoon during the annual community meal at Carl Gipson Senior Center in Everett on November 19, 2017. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Firefighters serve Thanksgiving meals at Carl Gipson center

The next two feasts at the senior center in Everett will be Thanksgiving Day and Dec. 3.

Hiker rescued on Boulder River trail after 15-foot fall

She was reported to have possible leg and rib fractures.

Alleged philanderer attacked with hammer near Everett

His girlfriend had accused him of cheating and allegedly called on another man to confront him.

Snohomish County Council passes a no-new-taxes budget

The spending plan still funds the hiring of five new sheriff’s deputies and a code enforcement officer.

Darrington School Board race might come down to a coin flip

With a one-vote difference, a single ballot in Skagit County remains to be counted.

Search ends for 3 US sailors missing in Navy aircraft crash

Eight people were rescued quickly and are in good condition.

A seat at the table for everyone

Sultan’s community dinner ensures no one has to dine alone on Thanksgiving

Most Read