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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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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When Laws Collide
5:34 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

Medical Marijuana Providers Challenge Seattle Licensing In Court

Medical marijuana providers are challenging Seattle’s licensing rules in court. They say having to obtain business licenses forces them to incriminate themselves under federal law.

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Recipe
10:05 am
Wed December 12, 2012

I Can't Believe It's Pot Butter

Yesterday on The Conversation with Ross Reynolds we heard from local chefs about how to incorporate marijuana into your cooking. James Beard Award-winning local chef Maria Hines told Ross how she likes to use cannabis-infused butter.

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Marijuana
12:40 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

Cooking With Cannabis: Stirring The Pot

Boiling "budder" (marijuana butter) to make candy.
Sioen Roux Flickr

Marijuana is now legal in Washington state. How do you cook with it? Ross Reynolds interviews the James Beard Award-winner and Top Chef Masters contestant Maria Hines, former Top Chef contestant Laurent Quenioux, edibles maker Justin Branstad, and other special guests.

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Listener Call-In
12:02 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Marijuana Is Legal In Washington: Do You Plan On Sparking Up?

Flickr Photo/prensa4 (CC-BY-NC-ND)

It’s now legal to possess marijuana in Washington state. What’s that mean for you? Ross Reynolds tries to shed light on the logistics of the law and hears from listeners.

News & Analysis
10:00 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Your Take On The News

It’s Friday — time to talk over the week’s news with Joni BalterEli Sanders and Knute Berger. Another week, another candidate for Seattle mayor as state Senator Ed Murray says he's in. Washington state ushered in history-making laws on gay marriage and marijuana. And in Washington, DC, Congress remained perched on the fiscal cliff. What stories caught your attention this week? Call us at 206.543.5869 or write to weekday@kuow.org.

Marijuana Legalization
9:08 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Medical Marijuana Distributors Divided On New Law

Sean Green's medical marijuana collective features a window into the light-filled grow room.
Amy Radil

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.

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Marijuana
10:00 am
Thu December 6, 2012

Sizing Up Washington's Pot Market

The recreational use of marijuana is now be legal for adults over the age of 21 in Washington under state law.
Credit Flickr Photo/prensa4 (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Starting today, you can light up in the privacy of your home. State law has changed regarding marijuana possession, but the business rules will have to be developed. The state Liquor Control Board has a year to figure out how to set up Washington’s marijuana market. The federal government’s tax laws will put a crimp on any Washington state entrepreneur until Congress makes a change. We talk to the Aaron Smith of the National Cannabis Industry Association about the path ahead.

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Legalizing It
3:00 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Washington To Begin Its Grand Experiment With Pot

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

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Law
8:45 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Wash. Liquor Board Has One Year To Catch Up To Pot Legalization

Drug Enforcement Agency

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 10:53 am

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Pot becomes legal in Washington on Thursday. But state officials have not even begun to write the complicated rules for who can grow it, process it and sell. That year-long process begins Wednesday.

By the end of this week, adult possession of up to one ounce of usable marijuana will no longer be a crime in Washington. But Initiative 502 -- approved by voters in November -- does much more than decriminalize possession. It requires the state to license and regulate marijuana producers, processors and retailers.

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Legalizing It
8:15 am
Wed December 5, 2012

How To Sell Marijuana Legally, In Four Inconvenient Steps

Selling it is the easy part.
Ted S. Warren AP

On our show yesterday, we talked with John Davis, who runs a legal medical marijuana business in Washington state. He described one of the big hurdles of starting a legal marijuana business: It's really hard to get a bank account.

His story reveals not only the gray area the marijuana business still inhabits (it's still illegal under federal law), but also just how hard it is to run a small business without a bank.

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