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Push to give out free lock boxes to marijuana users

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Online they are everywhere -- marijuana lock boxes -- for sale in every shape and size. They are perfect for the parent who doesn’t want their kids to have access to their stash of marijuana products, including edibles.

And apparently, they’re needed.

“In 2016, we saw an increase in the number of calls to the poison centers regarding marijuana exposures,” said Dr. Erica Liebelt, with the Washington Poison Center.

Many of those calls are for kids, some as young as one, and often attracted to edibles, which can have a very high THC level.

“If there are young children in the home and it’s not properly stored in a safe place then there’s always potential for small children to be able to get into it,” said Liebelt.

Representative Dan Griffey thinks he has a helpful solution. He is pushing a bill through the legislature that allows retail pot stores to give out lock boxes at no charge.

“Let’s do anything we can to keep our kids safe,” said Griffey.

The idea was sparked by the Mason County Department of Health, which received a large donation of lock boxes, and tried to bring them to marijuana retailers to hand out. But according to the law passed by voters that made pot legal, handing out free gear at pot shops is against the rules.

“They were not allowed to hand anything out for free, even if it was a safety device,” said Griffey. “So we narrowly crafted this bill to say you can hand these out for free.”

Tedd Wetherbee, who owns three marijuana shops in Pierce County says he will gladly hand out the boxes, but after nearly three years of legal pot in our state, he believes most parents who use legal marijuana already know how to protect their kids.

“Really if you’re a responsible person, they’re never going to fall into the hands of your kids,” said Wetherbee. “You keep medication out of the hands of your children, you keep alcohol out of the hands of your children, and you keep pointy objects out of the hands of your children. It’s all about where you are as a parent.”

Griffey’s bill passed in the house and is currently on a second reading in the senate.