WASHINGTON - Both Washington State and Colorado continue to break new legal ground while considering the nuances surrounding their local cannabis industries.
The two states legalized the adult recreational use of marijuana earlier this year, and both have also established strict guidelines, especially for businesses. Much like public drinking laws in most of the U.S., meanwhile, Colorado and Washington have banned the consumption and use of cannabis in public.
But one enterprising company in Seattle thought it had found a opening in the law. Weed Bus offers airport pick-up and drop-off for its marijuana tourist clientele, and also organizes tours of the some of the city's cannabis dispensaries.
"We save you the effort of researching the shops by driving you straight there," the company says on its website, "and then you can smoke right on the bus!"
Initially it appeared Weed Bus had found its business niche. According to the blog Capitol Hill Seattle, the company believes it is legal to smoke cannabis in a vehicle provided there's a divider between the driver and the passengers, like in a limousine or alcohol party bus.
The company even quoted a spokesperson for the Seattle police department, who said so long as such a divider was in place and the vehicle's driver remained sober, then the business should be legal.
"Right now, there's nowhere to smoke, that's the issue," William Prigmore, who started Weed Bus, tells CBS affiliate KIRO-TV.
But Washington's Utilities and Transportation Commission recently took the air out of Weed Bus, reminding charter and excursion bus operators that state law banks the consumption or use of cannabis products on their vehicles by passengers or drivers. The commission also warned that bus companies that fail to comply with the law could have their state-issued operating permits cancelled.
Still, Prigmore remains optimistic that the Weed Bus will roll on.
"Nothing's over," he said. "To be continued."
CBS News/August 25, 2014
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