For answers, KUOW’s Steve Scher talked with Thomas McLellan, Ph.D. He’s CEO and co-founder of the Treatment Research Institute, and is an internationally known substance abuse researcher and public policy expert. Most recently, he served as deputy director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy under the Obama-Biden administration, where he was heavily involved in health care reform.
Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 4:11 pm
OLYMPIA, Wash. – Predicting marijuana usage rates in Washington might come down to a test Cheech and Chong would appreciate: the size of the joint. So says one of the state’s new pot legalization consultants.
There’s a classic Cheech and Chong scene where they smoke a massive joint while driving down the road. Cheech says “Looks like a quarter pounder, man.”
Now that Washington has approved legalized marijuana, the state faces logistical challenges regarding marijuana dispensing, including defining consumer limits and determining business regulations. Weekday spoke with consultant and Medbox CEO Dr. Bruce Bedrick who shared his advice about marijuana dispensing.
Interview has been edited for clarity.
Why does legal marijuana need different controls than alcohol?
US Attorney General Eric Holder is pondering what to do about Washington and Colorado’s legalization of marijuana, a substance still illegal under US law. But it’s also become an international issue. Last Thursday, the United Nations issued a press release stating Washington state’s legalization actually violates international law. This statement comes amidst criticism from Latin American leaders calling America’s inconsistency between foreign and domestic drug policies hypocritical. The Obama administration has said a legalization strategy — at least abroad — is off the table. Ross Reynolds talks with Bruce Bagley, a professor of international studies at the University of Miami and expert on US-Latin America relations.
A new state law says you can have a licensed retail store for recreational marijuana, but it can’t be located within 1,000 feet of many facilities: schools, parks, transit centers, arcades, or libraries. In Seattle, that 1,000-foot rule means most of the city is off-limits. Smaller cities may have no eligible sites.
OLYMPIA, Wash. – U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is scheduled to testify on Capitol Hill Wednesday. He will likely get questions about Washington and Colorado’s new marijuana laws. Pressure is mounting on the Obama administration to block the pot legalization measures.
The new push for federal invention comes from a United Nations-based drug agency and nine former DEA chiefs. They say Washington and Colorado's new recreational pot laws violate international treaties.
The Liquor Control Board is coming up with regulations for the legal cultivation, processing and retail sale of marijuana to adults. Administrative Director Pat Kohler talks with Ross Reynolds about how the Liquor Control Board is handling Washington legalizing marijuana, and checks in on how the privatization of liquor sales has impacted the state.
Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 3:39 pm
SEATTLE, Wash. – As Washington moves to legalize marijuana, pot entrepreneurs are lobbying in public forums and behind the scenes. These business interests want to shape the new marijuana marketplace. Among them, a Seattle-based private equity firm called Privateer Holdings. The company has hired a top Olympia lobbyist and is making the case for large marijuana grows to state regulators.
Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 4:55 am
It's a moment many parents dread — sitting down to talk with their kid about drugs. What should they say? Will the conversation have any effect? And should they mention their own youthful indiscretions?
Parents can get advice from the family doctor or pediatrician and places like the Partnership at Drugfree.org (formerly the Partnership for a Drug-Free America), though there's not been much evidence to back up the recommendations.
The deadline for marijuana experts seeking work has closed in Washington state. All bids to help the state set up its legal marijuana system had to be submitted by 2:oo p.m. on February 15. State officials say the response was substantial.
One of the most urgent questions surrounding Washington’s legalization of marijuana is the affect it will have on teenagers. Researchers say teens often see marijuana as “natural” and “safer than alcohol.” Many adults who consider themselves addicts supported legalization, but not because they think marijuana is risk-free.
State toxicologist Fiona Couper recently stated that violations for driving under the influence of marijuana have not gone up since the passage of Initiative-502. But marijuana legalization is still in its early stages and to be charged with a DUI the driver has to get caught with 5 nanograms per milliliter of active THC in their bloodstream. David Hyde talks with Dr. Marilyn Huestis from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and tries to make sense of the science of marijuana intoxication.
Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 5:07 pm
OLYMPIA, Wash. – Three powerful Democrats in the Washington state House are proposing a new 25 percent tax on medical marijuana. The measure introduced Thursday is designed to avoid an underground market for medicinal pot once recreational marijuana is legally sold in stores.
Initiative 502, which took effect in December 2012, decriminalizes the production of hemp in Washington state, though it remains illegal under federal law.
Hemp production has deep roots in the early colonial United States. In fact, the Virginia colony required that hemp be grown by farmers to produce rope. Benjamin Franklin started a hemp paper mill to avoid importing paper from Great Britain. One particularly important document did not utilize paper at all, but hemp instead: the Declaration of Independence.
Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 3:46 pm
OLYMPIA, Wash. – Card-holding medical marijuana patients would get protection from arrest under a proposal in the Washington legislature. But some industry insiders say it doesn’t go far enough. That was their message Monday at a state Senate hearing.
By the end of this year, the production and use of recreational marijuana in Washington will be regulated and taxed. That’s because of voter-approved Initiative 502. But medical marijuana – also voter-approved back in 1998 – is largely unregulated.