Washington: Marijuana Is Harder For Minors To Buy Than Alcohol

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One of the most frequent arguments made by marijuana opponents is that legalizing marijuana will make it easier for youth to obtain. Newsflash – marijuana is already easy for youth to obtain. It was very easy for me to obtain marijuana by the age of 12, but it was always difficult to obtain alcohol throughout my teenage years because it required convincing an adult to purchase it for me. Regulation involves checking ID – prohibition does not.

Compliance checks are conducted at marijuana outlets regularly, with underage sting operations being directed towards outlets in an attempt to catch them selling to youth. In Washington State, the compliance rate is higher for marijuana stores than it is for establishments that sell alcohol or tobacco. Per The Spokesman Review:

Minors may have a slightly easier time buying booze or cigarettes than pot at stores licensed by the state.

State agents doing checks for all three restricted products said licensed marijuana stores passed tests for selling to underage buyers 90 percent of the time. For stores that sell liquor, the compliance rate was 86 percent, and for tobacco sales slightly lower, said Justin Nordhorn, enforcement chief for the Liquor and Cannabis Board, which oversees all three products.

Making sure that the state’s legal marijuana stays out of the hands of minors is a key to meeting current U.S. Justice Department guidelines for having something legal in Washington that’s illegal under federal law, board Director Rick Garza told the House Commerce and Gaming Committee. How that will change under the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump is unclear, he told a work session the panel held Friday to prepare for the 2017 session.

Yet another example of regulation working. Washington’s marijuana laws are far from perfect, especially for patients, but I think everyone can agree that marijuana should not be sold to minors. In a perfect world the compliance rate for marijuana outlets would be 100%. To those that check ID, thank you! For those that have failed their compliance checks, please realize that your mistake is significant, and you are putting the entire reform movement in danger with your laziness. Do better!

Johnny Green
About Johnny Green 2444 Articles
Johnny Green is a cannabis activist from Oregon. Johnny has a bachelor's degree in public policy, and believes that the message should always be more important than the messenger. #LegalizeIt #FreeThePlant