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Ooooh that smell: Push to outlaw public pot smoking in Seattle

SEATTLE — Something smells in Seattle, and it could lead police to start cracking down on public pot smokers.

marijuana-joint“The smoke and the smell is coming up to my kids’ rooms,” said Rachelle Hung, who lives in the University Park neighborhood. “They’re asking me what the funny smell is and I don`t feel I should have to explain.”

Since voters in Washington state made pot legal last year, people have  been lighting up all over the city — and the smell can be overwhelming.

“It’s definitely out of control,” said Kalu Davis, who drives bus routes from the South End to Northgate.

He said every day he sees people smoking pot at bus shelters, and when they board his bus “they blow it right into my face, and, because of that, I get light-headed. At that point I then have to stop the bus. I can`t continue any further because I`m inebriated from the secondhand smoke.”

Those are the kind of complaints that Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes has been hearing since he helped sponsor the initiative that led to legalization. He now wants a new city ordinance aimed at the public use of pot.

“It`s important that, while we celebrate the incredible shift that Washington voters put into law last November, we stay sober-minded about this,” said Holmes.

The state law already prohibits pot smoking in public. If the City Council passes a new ordinance, the city would get at least half of the money from the $103 fines.

Holmes also hopes it discourages people from lighting up their now-legal weed in the great outdoors.

“This is about regulating marijuana, it`s not about turning this into the Wild, Wild West,” Holmes said.

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