WA: So, You Have An Open Package Of Weed In Your Car. Where should You Put It

Photo Credit: Noah Berger

What are the rules about having weed in your car?

It occurred to me that I didn’t know the law as I was driving around Tacoma on 4/20, that highest of holidays for marijuana enthusiasts when Washingtonians appreciate their legal weed even more than usual.

Last Friday happened to be a beautiful spring day, and I had the windows down as I drove to Goofy Goose to get some lunch after filing that week’s traffic column.

I was stopped at a red light next to another car on Sixth Avenue when I overheard a very distinct sound coming from that car.

Krrrr. Krrrr. Krrrr.

I looked over and saw the passenger using a weed grinder to process some giggle bush right there on his lap, clear as day, in plain view of any person (or cop) who might happen to pass by.

So … that’s not allowed, much like having an open container of booze is not allowed in a car or a public place.

According to Sgt. James Prouty of the Washington State Patrol and state law, any weed product must be in its original packaging unopened and/or sealed to be carried in the passenger compartment of your car. This could apply to a half-smoked, pre-rolled joint you bought, not just a package containing flower.

“If the package has been opened or the product has been removed from its original packaging, it must be stored in the trunk or in an area of the vehicle where it is not accessible,” Prouty said in an email.

What if you don’t have a trunk, you ask?

“It needs to be in an area that is not accessible to the driver or occupants,” Prouty replied. “It depends on the type of vehicle, but if there is not a place in the back of the vehicle or behind the seat (truck), then placing it in the glove compartment (ideally locked) is an option.”