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.

Pages

Drug Enforcement
12:18 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

More Medical Marijuana Regulations Proposed

Do you agree with stricter medical marijuana regulations?
Flickr Photo/Dominic Simpson

With all the talk about the legalization of marijuana perhaps you’ve been caught in a haze and haven’t been paying attention to what is going on with Washington’s long legal medical marijuana. Well changes are being proposed there too. Washington Senator Ann Rivers has proposed legislation that would task the Liquor Control Board with licensing and regulating medical marijuana dispensaries, processors and growers. Ann Rivers talks to Ross Reynolds about why she thinks further regulation is necessary.

Creating A Safe Market
7:46 am
Mon April 8, 2013

For Regulators, Marijuana Legalization All About 'Getting Into The Weeds'

Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 5:50 pm

SEATTLE – When Washington voters legalized recreational marijuana last fall, they handed the state’s Liquor Control Board a regulatory nightmare. There’s no manual for how to create a safe and legal market for pot – something that’s never been done before.

State Representative Roger Goodman – speaking after a recent meeting on marijuana legalization – says the giggle factor is gone.

Read more
Pot Use Crackdown
8:57 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Wash. Bars That Allow Marijuana Use Could Face Penalties

Pot possession is now legal in Washington.  But city and state regulators are drawing the line at marijuana use in bars and coffee shops.

Read more
Marijuana Law
2:17 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

For Legal Pot Sellers, A Big Tax Problem

Erica Freeman of Choice Organics weighs medical marijuana for a customer.
Grace Hood for NPR

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 6:56 pm

An obscure tax code provision crafted for drug dealers is giving state-licensed medical marijuana dispensaries a headache.

In Colorado, federal income tax rates for dispensaries can soar as high as 70 percent because of a tax code section that does not allow businesses to claim certain deductions.

The section is known as 280E, and it was originally written for illegal drug traffickers. But today it's a thorn in the side of licensed dispensary owners like Erica Freeman.

Read more
State Government
9:00 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Ask State Attorney General Bob Ferguson

State Attorney General Bob Ferguson.
Credit Courtesy/Washington State Attorney General Office

Last November, Bob Ferguson became Washington state’s 18th attorney general. One of the biggest issues he faces is how the federal government will approach legalized marijuana in Washington state. Ferguson met with Attorney General Eric Holder in January and so far, a clear policy has yet to emerge. Ferguson says if legalized marijuana is challenged by the feds, he'll defend it. What questions do you have for Attorney General Bob Ferguson? What should his priorities be? Call us at 800.289.5869 or email weekday@kuow.org.

Read more
Legalizing It
3:27 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

The 'Known Unknowns' Of Regulating Legalized Marijuana

Both Washington and Colorado have passed measures legalizing marijuana. Here in Washington, the Washington State Liquor Control Board is busy hammering out how marijuana will be grown, sold, and regulated. But there are still many questions, from how the federal government will respond to a legal weed market, how to monitor marijuana potency, how to effectively measuring and enforcing marijuana impairment levels in drivers.

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.

Interview has been edited for clarity.

Read more
Pot Usage Rates
7:22 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Joint Size Matters When Gauging Marijuana Usage

Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

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.”

Read more
Drug Distribution
12:33 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Mechanized Marijuana Dispenser Offers One Regulation Solution

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?

Read more
Drug Laws
12:05 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

How Washington's Pot Legalization Breaks International Law

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.

Paltry Pot Parcels
3:38 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Scarce Real Estate For New Marijuana Stores

Legalization advocate Greta Carter says marijuana retailers can't find space for rent.
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

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.

Read more

Pages