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Marijuana use in bars under state review

The Washington State Liquor Control Board wants to make it clear that getting high in bars is not allowed. (AP Photo)

The Washington State Liquor Control Board is taking new steps to keep bars from allowing marijuana consumption after several began trying to take advantage of loopholes created by the state’s legalization of marijuana

Concerns were raised after recent news stories about two Western Washington bars allowing people to get high on site, and the board wants to make it clear that that is not allowed.

“What the board did today was to be able to open up the liquor laws to be able to specify that marijuana consumption is not allowed inside those licensed locations,” explained Brian Smith, spokesman with the Washington State Liquor Control Board.

Under the new law, adults can consume marijuana, but public display and use of pot is punishable by a $103 fine. However, the board is not allowed to punish bars for that kind of infraction.

“It’s clearly illegal under I-502 that you’re not allowed to be able to open up and have marijuana visible or to consume it in anyway in a public place,” said Smith.

The board is taking public comment now and will finalize rules in July that become effective in August.

Board members say they’re concerned about people mixing alcohol and marijuana, then getting behind the wheel.

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