Recreational marijuana is legal – for adults. But it’s clear that the movement toward legalization is having repercussions for teenagers too.
Federal authorities have said they will be monitoring whether Washington’s legal marijuana supply makes its way to underage users. It’s one of the indicators that they say could lead them to intervene in the state’s experiment.
Washington state expects to adopt final rules for the structure governing legalized marijuana under I-502 by next week. So officials with the state’s Liquor Control Board are touring the state to get feedback before the rules take effect.
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.
The second statewide public hearing this week on the future of the marijuana industry was held in Seattle. Like the earlier one in the week in Olympia, this one had overflow crowds. The Seattle hearing was filled with people who have grown marijuana for years and want to go legit.
The Washington State Liquor Control Board is kicking off a series of six public hearings around the state. The board wants public input on how to create a legal, taxed distribution system for marijuana. Budding members of the new marijuana economy say they’ll be in attendance.
The Washington State Liquor Control Board is forging ahead in its new role creating access to legalized marijuana. Next, the board will issue a request for consultants to gauge pot consumption in Washington state.
Marijuana legalization in Washington is taking effect against a patchwork of conflicting city laws. Some cities don’t allow marijuana dispensaries. But Seattle began requiring business licenses for them last year. Some medical marijuana providers see benefits to playing by cities’ rules. Others are fighting their restrictions.
Sean Green is the owner of Pacific Northwest Medical, a medical marijuana collective in the city of Shoreline. Today he’s wearing a suit and tie, a vestige of his former career in real estate. Green says he supported Initiative 502, but he’s celebrating legalization by turning off his phones. That’s because he’s gotten so many calls from recreational users who are under the delusion that it’s now legal for Green to sell them marijuana.
Voters in both Oregon and Washington are considering measures this November that would legalize marijuana for recreational use. If they pass, the laws would further widen the legal gap with neighboring Idaho, where police worry about spillover.
Idaho State Police Major Kevin Hudgens just learned about the two measures to the west of his state. He says they concern him.
“Common sense tells me that I’m sure we’d see some of our residents going over to Oregon and Washington to purchase marijuana. So, we would likely see an increase in that.”