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

Lynnwood plans $12M in sewer improvements

The city wants to be ready for an anticipated population boom around the mall and light rail.

Driver dies in apparent high-speed crash near Snohomish

A passerby found the severely damaged car off Chain Lake Road Saturday night.

Jim and Marcia Hashman during a visit to the Evergreen State Fair in Monroe in 2014. Jim Hashman, who taught music at Mountlake Terrace High School in the 1980s and ’90s, died Jan. 31, after struggling with ALS for several years. (Herald file)
Despite ALS, he lived his life with joy and purpose

Former Mountlake Terrace High School music teacher Jim Hashman died Jan. 31.

Failing embankment on Marine Drive awaiting permanent fix

In the meantime, a 20 mph speed limit is in effect at the spot south of Norman Road.

Pair now face federal charges in pot shop heist

They are being prosecuted on robbery, drugs and weapons violations.

Families feel betrayed after wrongful death bill falls short

Rejection of proposed changes in the law angered and shocked parents who lost adult children.

New 116th interchange enters final phase

The Tulalip-led project will ease backups at the I-5 overpass.

Front Porch

EVENTS All about courthouse dogs Learn how dogs are used to provide… Continue reading

Driver hospitalized after I-5 rollover crash near Arlington

A medical problem is believed to have caused the accident.

Most Read