Recreational marijuana has been legal in Washington and Colorado for a year and a half, but people are still adjusting to that new reality, reports NPR. Especially contentious is the increasingly common sight and smell of people smoking pot in public, which is not legal in either state. In the first six months of this year Seattle police wrote only 83 tickets for public pot, and the vast majority of those were written by just one cop who seems to have had a problem with legalization. He’s been reassigned, and Seattle’s politicians are now expressing concern – not so much about the level of enforcement, but more for the fact that that one officer issued a lot of tickets to
Seattle City Councilmember Bruce Harrell thinks the city should create public spaces where the homeless and others can smoke pot legally. As to enforcement on beaches and parks, he says the police should do something if they get complaints. Caleb Banta-Green is a researcher at the University of Washington’s Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute. He’s struck by how marijuana smoke seems to have moved from the backyard to the front yard. He says people probably don’t need to worry about their kids getting a contact high, especially outdoors. The sight of all that pot smoking can make parents squirm.