John S

Hello all,

This is my first post to this incredible forum and I wanted to say thank you for the great detailed reports, access descriptions, and photos we all get to enjoy! Bringing generations of WA anglers together is beautiful.

I was raised off route 202 near Fall City and come home every summer to spend time with my mother and sister and to fish. I have been through Idaho and Montana this summer but can’t stop enjoying the lush greenery and small wild trout rivers of Snohomish and Skagit counties.

I wanted to share an experience of mine yesterday on the Mountain Loop Highway so that others can be extremely cautious and aware.

While I was fishing the Sauk a forest service ranger walked up to my truck parked in a campsite, peered aggressively inside its windows and noticed a very small container of marijuana behind the drivers seat out of view and hidden. I was then detained in handcuffs and my vehicle searched and I was nearly cited with a federal misdemeanor ticket that would have ended my teaching career forever.

Fortunately the officer was a good person, listened to me about the misdemeanor ending my career. and threw my marijuana away and let me off with a vehicle related ticket and a truly scared straight lesson. It helped that I was clearly not under the influence. I have gained an utmost respect for officers like him, but know that I got enormously lucky and that 25,000 federal marijuana misdemeanor convictions have been issued since the Holder administration.

The point is this, UDFW officers are aggressively searching parked vehicles and persons within forest lands for marijuana. And WA state law in the last year has a clear enforcement line set for permitting only completely sealed containers of Marijuana within vehicles and absolutely no smoking within. I am sure I am not the only individual on this forum who has brought cannabis with them into the forest to smoke and then drove between fishing spots. It’s far safer than beer and more akin to cigarettes of course, but yet far more dangerous because of ongoing criminal conviction practices such as these.

Please learn from my lesson and take the utmost caution to leave marijuana at home when entering federal land. And never be afraid to be honest and respectful with the many good officers of law enforcement in our state, they may likely show you the same. Know your rights to avoid problems and don’t give probable cause for a search away if you don’t have to, but looking an officer in the eye and being honest can go a very long way.
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John S

Jamie you are very right, and perhaps my description has fallen into a feel good narrative. I am just enormously thankful for what he did do and believe that deserves recognition.

Ultimately he was just following department practices to aggressively ticket Marijuana. I too would love to see the rangers checking out the sketchier campsites where hard drugs are being used and ticketing less. I hope that was the intent here, rather than to fill revenue and hours with “easy” marijuana tickets.

The key point is to never bring Marijuana in federal lands and to protect yourself. Aggressive enforcement IS still occurring despite our changing climate towards cannabis.



Hillbilly Redneck

wishin i was fishin
A friend of mine got arrested for weed on the Nisqually by soldiers from the military base. Big hassle, and expensive. They confiscated his Aire Puma and left it out in the sun and the bladders exploded. This was quite a few years ago.

stilly stalker

Switch Rod Samurai
Legalization has brought a whole new round of enforcement - and Washington is not actually as cool as it seems to be

In California they laugh at that shit. I LOVE law enforcement here. They actually focus on what’s important. And I can drive 80 everywhere and there’s no undercover cops on the freeways

Rocking Chair Fan

No more hot spotting
Washington state law does not override federal law. If on federal land in Washington (or any other state), federal law applies - it is a crime to possess marijuana--> period. If on a road in Washington, it must be in a trunk or area outside of driver reach Or sealed in original container (like carrying booze).

I wish Idaho and Montana would would pass laws allowing marijuana. I do a lot of fishing in those states and enjoy some bud after fishing. Carrying it to those states concerns me a lot. But then so does having it when going to Oregon. Illegal to transport it over state lines even though legal in Oregon.
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Brian Miller

Be vewy vewy qwiet, I'm hunting Cutthwoat Twout
WFF Supporter
An open container or consuming alcohol in a parked vehicle, or in a public place in Washington (such as a boat at Seafair???) could get you pinched too, although especially the latter more than likely would be based on your behavior prior to and during interaction with a LEO. I will often bring a can of ale for a victory dance when I return from a day of fishing as I am getting out of my waders and boots. But I am very careful to not place the open container inside or even on my SUV when I am sitting down outside the vehicle changing back into shoes or sandals.

Rocking Chair Fan

No more hot spotting
can' wait to indulge, I've been getting drug tested randomly for the last 18+ years (coast guard) but my retirement so close I can taste it. can't wait to walk into a weed shop, talk to the bud tender and get the "welcome back" package.

Fully understood. I had to wait 35 years before I could partake or go into a bud shop.
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