August 21, 2014 in City

No pot allowed on buses, state commission says

By The Spokesman-Review

The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission on Thursday issued a notice telling charter and excursion bus operators that it’s illegal to allow marijuana consumption on board.

The notice was issued after several transportation companies filed permit applications to provide marijuana-themed tour buses, according to a news release from the commission.

The commission said its notice is based on multiple laws as well as concern for public safety.

Charter and other excursion vehicles as well as their drivers and passengers are considered to be in view of the general public, the notice said. That makes consumption of marijuana illegal under provisions of the legalization law approved by voters in 2012.

The notice points to another state law that prohibits smoking in public places and at places of employment. It also cited federal safety regulations that prohibit the use of marijuana by commercial vehicle drivers.

Companies were warned that failure to comply with the law will result in the cancellation of operating permits, the news release said.

The commission also undertook a study earlier this year of charter and excursion bus safety and is forwarding recommendations to the Legislature for improved laws.

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