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Washington Tobacco 21 Laws
As of January 1, 2020 it is illegal under Washington law to sell or give tobacco or vaping products to people under age 21. In March 2019 Washington State signed a bill to raise the legal sale age of tobacco and vapor products to 21 with a bipartisan vote of 33-12 in the Senate and 66-30 in the House of Representatives.
Washington Cannabis Laws
In 2012 Washington State voters approved Initiative 502, which permits an adult over 21 to possess up to one-ounce of cannabis (marijuana, weed, etc.) for their own personal use in private. The public consumption of cannabis is subject to a civil violation and fine. Retail cannabis sales to the public in Washington State began July, 8 2014. Cannabis remains illegal on the federal level.
Local Substance Use Regulations
Clark County Moratorium
- The moratorium, passed in 2014, previously made it illegal to operate cannabis-related businesses in unincorporated Clark County. Unincorporated Clark County includes places like Salmon Creek, Hockinson, Mill Plain and more.
- In July 2019, Clark County Council lifted the ban on cannabis retailers.
- The code adopted by the Council maintains the prohibition on cannabis establishments within 1,000 feet of an elementary or secondary school or public playground, as required by state law, but reduces the buffer to 500 feet for child care centers, libraries, churches, transit centers and recreational facilities. The council also added a 500 foot buffer for substance use disorder treatment facilities. Additionally, marijuana retail businesses will be allowed to be open until 11 pm, the same as the city of Vancouver.
- Read more about the code here.
Clark County Vaping Ordinance
Regulating Display of Drug Paraphernalia
The Vancouver ordinance prohibits the display of drug paraphernalia in stores where minors can enter.
Read More >>
Washougal Ordinance #1773
Regulating the Use and Sale of Electronic Vaporizing Devices
- Sampling and sales to minors (anyone under 18) prohibited
- Coupons Prohibited
- Possession by minors prohibited
- Signage required in retailers
- Vending machines restricted
- Use prohibited in public places and places of employment
Washougal Ordinance #1774
Regulating the Display of Drug Paraphernalia
- Preventing the display of drug paraphernalia in stores where minors can enter.
OSPI School Discipline Updates
In Regards to Substance Use or Drug Paraphernalia
- In 2018: Schools cannot suspend for absences or tardiness, students must be allowed to participate in curriculum, meet educational standards and meet graduation requirements. Students must not be forced to skip meals.
- In 2019: Schools must define their alternative approaches, must eliminate zero-tolerance language in discipline policies except for firearm violations and it is not against the law for schools to mandate drug or alcohol assessments. Schools cannot force treatment.
- Schools must collect and report suspension data.
- Schools are not required to impose suspension or expulsion except for firearm violations and they MUST first consider alternative action. This is to say that mandatory reporting of suspension/expulsion data does not equal mandatory consequences.
- Considering alternative consequences applies to all behavior and not just to substance related violations.
- OSPI recommends minimizing exclusions and encourages the best practices manual.
- The approach should be individualized for each student while still remaining fair.
- Learn more.
- View Best Practices Manual.