Marijuana: The Path To Legalization In Washington State

Washington became one of the first states to legalize marijuana for recreational use in 2012. But there are a lot of challenges ahead: the state must set up a licensing system for marijuana growers and sellers, the federal government may mount a challenge, the need to set a new limit on amount of marijuana in the bloodstream for safe driving. And medical marijuana is still in the picture.

Over the next several months we will be exploring the issue and tracking the impact of I-502.

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Week In Review
1:08 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Grab This Week’s News Before It’s Sunk

Dive into the inky black waters of Lake Washington and you may find the oldest wreck recorded: A dozen coal trains from a wreck 139 years ago.
KUOW Photo/Jake Warga

This week, we found out what’s really at the bottom of Lake Washington. The reporter who did the story surfaces to tell us. Plus, do Seattle TV stations have the right to surveillance video of the SPU shooter? Do coal companies have the right to ship from our shores? Is it right to pay voters to vote? And was something not right with Steve Ballmer and Lakeside High School basketball?

Bill Radke asks those questions and more of this week's panel: Crosscut’s Knute Berger, The Stranger’s Eli Sanders and Maria LaGanga of the LA Times.

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Oregon Politics
8:23 am
Fri August 22, 2014

Marijuana Dispensary Leads To Small Town Political Showdown

Brie Malarkey owns Breeze Botanicals in Gold Hill, Oregon.

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 3:56 pm

The town of Gold Hill, Oregon is in turmoil. Two-thirds of its City Council is the subject of a recall election on Monday.

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Plant Seizures
8:25 am
Thu August 21, 2014

Amid Legal Pot, The Search Continues For Illegal Grows

File photo of 'guerrilla' cultivation of cannabis

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 3:37 pm

Legal marijuana grows are just getting started in Washington state. But it’s the illegal ones that local, state and federal agents are searching out this month.

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Marijuana
5:09 am
Tue August 19, 2014

Europe's Latest Grass-Roots Movement: Cannabis Social Clubs

Eliane Detraz, a 42-year-old Swiss national member of the Sibaratas Med Can club, rolls a joint at the plantation of the association in Spain's Canary Islands in April 2013.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 10:46 am

Gabriela walks into a large, dimly lit apartment, goes to a counter, buys a bag of sativa and sits on the sofa with her friends, joint in hand, like in Amsterdam. Except this is not Amsterdam. This is Barcelona, and the open sale of marijuana is illegal.

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Risky Business
11:30 am
Mon August 18, 2014

As Pot Laws Relax, Restrictions On Research Still Tight

A worker cultivates a special strain of medical marijuana known as Charlotte's Web inside a greenhouse, in a remote spot in the mountains west of Colorado Springs, Colo., Feb. 7, 2014. (Brennan Linsley/AP)

Originally published on Mon August 18, 2014 11:45 am

Medical marijuana is now legal in nearly half of all U.S. states, but doing research on the drug is harder than one might think. Because of federal laws and regulations, it can take years to get the approval necessary to start a study.

University of Arizona doctor Sue Sisley says she was fired for her research on marijuana. Sisley was leading a federally-approved study on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and medical marijuana, when the university cut ties with her.

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News From Canada
2:52 pm
Wed August 13, 2014

Canada's 'Prince Of Pot' Looking For Political Revenge

Marcie Sillman talks to Les Leyne, legislative reporter for the Victoria Times Colonist, about the news from Canada. Marc Emery, the self proclaimed "Prince Of Pot" was released from U.S. prison and has arrived back in Canada. Also, test results have come back favorably for the Mt. Polley mine dam breach in British Columbia.

Marijuana
7:32 am
Mon August 11, 2014

Ground Zero For Washington Pot Wars: Fife, Wash., Pop. 9,421

The Poodle Dog diner in Fife, Wash., is a site for debate about whether the city should ban marijuana business.
Credit Flickr Photo/Great Beyond (CC-BY-NC-ND)

This July, the Fife City Council prohibited all marijuana business inside Fife city limits.

That ban has been challenged by State Attorney General Bob Ferguson and the ACLU. The Fife case has a hearing in Pierce County Superior Court at the end of this month. It could end up in Supreme Court by the end of the year.

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Marijuana
3:29 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

Pot Business Sues City Of Fife Over Ban

Ross Reynolds talks with James Dusek, owner of Downtown Cannabis Company in Pacific, Wash. He and two other marijuana business have sued the City of Fife over its ban on marijuana businesses, worrying that the ban could spread to other areas. The case has been taken up by the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington.

Week In Review
1:44 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

Park It There For A Discussion Of The Week's News

Flickr Photo/Dann Cove (CC-BY-NC-ND)

So long, Seattle parks levies! We won't be needing you anymore. Seattle's Proposition 1 to permanently fund parks looks to be passing. And speaking of parks, should police only enforce the outdoor pot smoking ban if kids are nearby?

Also, there were some interesting primary election results, but did this week’s vote reveal bigotry in Western Washington? When should your city take a stand on world events?

KUOW's Bill Radke discusses these issues with Joni Balter, C.R. Douglas, Erica C. Barnett and special guest John Moe of Wits and Rewind.

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Marijuana
2:57 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

Tommy Chong, 'The Face Of Pot,' Promotes His Brand In Seattle

Tommy Chong said he wants to do for marijuana what Paul Newman did for salad dressing.
Credit Amy Radil

As part of the comedy duo Cheech and Chong, Tommy Chong portrayed marijuana users as slapstick buffoons. But now he’s in Seattle for what he says is the serious endeavor of promoting the benefits of marijuana – and his personal brand.

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Marijuana
7:48 am
Wed August 6, 2014

Odd Couple: Where Does A Straitlaced Farmer Get Pot Growing Expertise?

Research farmer Alan Schreiber and research assistant Tom Balotte, of Ag Development Group, talk about an ongoing research project in the fields of the 105-acre farm north of Pasco, July 2, 2014.

Originally published on Tue August 5, 2014 5:15 pm

In Eastern Washington, a pair of very different guys teamed up to embark on an experiment to grow Washington’s latest agricultural crop -- legal marijuana. 

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Marijuana
7:41 am
Tue August 5, 2014

Mary, How Do You Grow? The Tricky Business Of Yielding The Best Pot

Growing marijuana outside is a tricky venture, as farmer Susy Wilson can attest to.

Originally published on Tue August 5, 2014 10:29 am

Figuring out how to maximize yields on legal marijuana in Washington state will be tricky -- and not every licensed farmer will survive the competition and the tight margins.

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Pot Shops
8:54 am
Mon August 4, 2014

Seattleites: Good Luck Finding Legal Pot To Buy

Michael Gordon of Kush Tourism, at a glass-blowing studio that is a favorite stop for his tour groups.
Credit Amy Radil

After the hoopla settled down after the grand opening of Seattle’s first state-licensed retail marijuana store in July, pot aficionados found that retail stores were hard to find.

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Marijuana
6:25 am
Mon August 4, 2014

First Cut: Behind The Scenes With Anna King And Jordan Schrader

Anna King and Jordan Schrader

Originally published on Sun August 3, 2014 4:55 am

This week, we’ll be examining Washington's freshest crop - marijuana. The agriculture, the security and the personalities.

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Pot Grows
6:25 am
Mon August 4, 2014

Dark 'n' Light: Is It Better To Grow Marijuana Indoors Or Out?

Toni Reita, of Black Dog Acres in Goldendale, Washington, waters her starts.

Originally published on Tue August 5, 2014 10:35 am

As legal pot growing operations spring to life from urban King County to remote corners of Washington state, an ongoing debate has developed within this new farming community.

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