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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Marijuana Regulation
9:16 am
Fri January 25, 2013

Washington Governor Says Pot Legalization Must Inspire 'Confidence'

Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 4:42 pm

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Washington Governor Jay Inslee says the eyes of the nation will be on the state as it creates a legal marijuana market over the next year. The new governor said Thursday that along with legalization comes the expectation that illegal pot production and sales will mostly end.

Inslee doesn’t expect a clear answer from the Obama administration anytime soon on how the federal government will respond to Washington’s new marijuana law. He met earlier this week with US Attorney General Eric Holder.

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Legalizing Marijuana
9:00 am
Fri January 25, 2013

John Davis On The Birth Pangs Of Washington's Cannabis Industry

The Washington State Liquor Control Board holds a public hearing tonight at Seattle’s City Hall on how to implement the state’s new marijuana law. The first one drew a standing room only crowd eager to weigh in on how Washington state should set up its system to license marijuana growers, processors and sellers.

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Pot Public Hearing
8:12 am
Fri January 25, 2013

Washington State Marijuana Growers Want To Go Legit

The Liquor Control Board came to Seattle for its second public forum on creating a legal marijuana economy.
Credit Amy Radil

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.

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Arts & Entertainment
9:00 am
Thu January 24, 2013

A Conversation With Saxophonist Kenny G

Jazz musician Kenny G poses for a portrait at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York.
Credit AP Photo/ Jim Cooper



Sax man and bestselling instrumentalist of all time, Kenny G, needs no introduction. Following stints with Barry White’s Love Unlimited Orchestra (at the age of 17) and The Jeff Lorber Fusion, the Seattle native and UW grad embarked on a solo career in the early 1980s. His 1992 album "Breathless" is the bestselling instrumental album of all time, and his 1994 album "Miracles" is the bestselling Christmas album of all time. He's collaborated with musical legends from Aretha Franklin to Stevie Wonder and even popped up in a Katy Perry video. The one and only Kenny G is in town to perform at Seattle's Jazz Alley. He joins us for a conversation about his life in music.

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Parenting
12:40 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

How Do You Talk To Your Kids About Pot?

How do you talk to your kids about marijuana now that it’s legal in Wash. state?
Travis S. Flickr

Marijuana is now legal in Washington state and many parents are wondering how to explain this to their children. Ross Reynolds speaks with one of the proponents of Initiative 502, Alison Holcomb, as well as Roger Roffman, professor emeritus in the school of social work at the University of Washington, and chief of adolescent medicine at Seattle Children’s Hospital, Dr. Leslie Walker, about discussing marijuana legalization with children.

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The Business Of Marijuana
8:14 am
Wed January 23, 2013

Washington Pot Forum Draws Standing Room Crowd

Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 4:09 pm

OLYMPIA, Wash. –The first public forum on how to implement Washington’s new marijuana law drew a capacity crowd Tuesday night in Olympia. The state’s Liquor Control Board is seeking input as it writes the rules for enacting Initiative 502 – Washington’s new pot legalization law.

They arrived early and in droves – the smell of marijuana clung in the air. First in line to get a seat for the forum was Leslie Tikka of Olympia. She mainly came to see a bit of history in the making.

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Legal Pot Hearings
5:00 am
Tue January 22, 2013

Washington Officials Seek Public Input On Marijuana

Andre Edwards smokes marijuana, Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012, just after midnight at the Space Needle in Seattle.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

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.

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Driving Under The Influence
8:00 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Officer Abraham On The New Rules Of The Road For Marijuana Use

DUI checkpoint in Riverside, Calif., March 2011.
Flickr Photo/Greg Matthews

What are the new rules of the road for marijuana use now that it’s legal here in Washington state?  Seattle Traffic Officer John Abraham talks it over with KUOW’s Ross Reynolds.

War On Drugs
9:00 am
Thu January 17, 2013

From The Front Lines Of Mexico's Drug War

'El Narco' by Ioan Grillo.
Credit Courtesy Bloomsbury Press

Since 2006, more than 40,000 soldiers, police officers, traffickers and citizens have died in Mexico’s bloody drug war — from the mountains where pot and poppies are grown to the streets of Mexico City. Journalist Ioan Grillo tracks the rise of the cartels and their increasing influence north of the border in his book, "El Narco." He joins Steve Scher with a report from the front lines of the Mexican drug war.

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Steps Toward Regulation
7:17 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Washington Agency Seeks Marijuana Experts

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. 

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Marijuana
11:15 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Pot Lobbies Push For License To Grow

Cannabis greenhouse in Oakland, Calif., 2012.
Rusty Blazenhoff Flickr

The Liquor Control Board is currently drafting the rules for how to apply for a license to grow marijuana in Washington state.  Several groups made up of lawyers, lobbyists and farmers have formed, and they’re looking to influence the board’s decisions.

One of these organizations is the Cannabis Business Group. Ross Reynolds talks with their board member, Hilary Bricken, a cannabis business lawyer.

News & Analysis
10:00 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Your Take On The News

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., during a news conference on the fiscal cliff. Washington, DC, Dec. 20, 2012.
Jacquelyn Martin AP Photo

It’s Friday — time to review the week’s news with Eli Sanders, Knute Berger and David Horsey. Talks on taxes and spending are getting down to the wire in Washington, DC, and even Starbucks is urging cooperation to avert the so-called fiscal cliff. Will there be a deal before the December 31 deadline?

We'll also take a look back at the region's big stories of 2012, from history-making decisions on marijuana and marriage equality, to Seattle's steps toward police reform and a deal for a third pro sports stadium. What stories caught your attention? Call us at 206.543.5869 or write to weekday@kuow.org.

Business Or Nuisance?
5:00 am
Mon December 17, 2012

Medical Marijuana Providers Want Access To Forbidden Cities

Muraco Kyashna-tocha of Green Buddha Patient Co-op (with cockatoo) obtained a Seattle business license.
Amy Radil

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.    

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