The Columbian / Associated Press

New state law bans open containers of pot in cars

Election Oregon MarijuanaOLYMPIA — A new state law bans open containers of marijuana in vehicles starting Sept. 26.

The News Tribune says the new law means loose joints, open bags of bud or partially consumed packages of pot-infused edibles must be kept in a vehicle’s trunk or behind its rearmost row of seats.

The Washington Traffic Safety Commission pushed for the change so that the state’s rules governing marijuana would more closely resemble those for alcohol. State law already prohibits unsealed or partially consumed containers of alcohol in the passenger cabin of a vehicle.

House Bill 1276 makes several changes to the state’s impaired driving statutes. It restores the state Department of Licensing’s ability to automatically suspend a person’s driver’s license if a blood test shows he or she is legally impaired by marijuana.

Rep. Brad Klippert, a Republican from Kennewick, says the goal was to make the streets safer.