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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Legal
7:00 am
Wed November 21, 2012

Letter To Attorney General Urges Cooperation On Marijuana

US Attorney General Eric Holder. Photo via US Department of Justice

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 3:45 pm

A coalition of law enforcement officers, judges, prosecutors and federal agents have signed a letter asking US Attorney general Eric Holder not to interfere with Washington and Colorado’s new legal marijuana laws.

The letter to Eric Holder was organized by the group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, otherwise known as LEAP.

The communication asks Attorney General Holder to respect the will of the people of Washington and Colorado. Both states passed laws legalizing recreational use of marijuana by roughly a 55 percent majority.

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Marijuana
2:18 pm
Thu November 15, 2012

What's Next For Legalized Marijuana In Washington State?

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

Washington voters just passed an initiative legalizing marijuana that will be certified December 6.  But state Representative Roger Goodman thinks it already needs tweaking.

Plus, we talk to Muraco Kyashna-tocha, director of the Evergreen State Cannabis Trade Association. The association is expanding beyond medical marijuana now that recreational use is being legalized.

Federal Vs. State Law
8:00 am
Thu November 15, 2012

Inslee Promises To Advocate State Pot Law In Federal Domain

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee looks out the window of his plane as it flies over the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, Wednesday, March 6, 2013, on the way to Richland, Wash. Inslee toured the facility and met with Dept. of Energy officials.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Governor-elect Jay Inslee announced three members of his transition team yesterday, just as the state revenue council announced their prediction of a $900 million budget shortfall over the next two years. Inslee spoke with KUOW’s Steve Scher about his approach to closing that gap and his role in supporting the initiative that passed recreational use of marijuana.

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Election 2012
7:40 am
Thu November 15, 2012

Inslee Says He Will Back Will Of Voters On Marijuana Legalization

Governor-elect Jay Inslee at a news conference in Seattle to announce his transition co-chairs. Photo by Austin Jenkins

Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 2:52 pm

SEATTLE, Wash. – Washington Governor-elect Jay Inslee says states are the incubators of new ideas – and that should extend to marijuana legalization. Inslee Wednesday said he’s hopeful Washington’s new recreational pot law can take effect without federal interference.

Inslee didn’t support Washington’s marijuana legalization initiative. But now that it has passed he says, “The voters have spoken.”

Inslee says he will work in a “rational and mature” way to persuade the Obama administration to allow Washington to implement the law.

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Education
9:00 am
Fri November 9, 2012

What Does Adequate School Funding Look Like?

School lockers.

The Supreme Court of Washington ruled earlier this year that the state is not meeting its constitutional duty to fully fund public education. What does a well-funded school system look like? We talk with Diane Ravitch, research professor of education at New York University.

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Election 2012
1:35 am
Wed November 7, 2012

Washington Voters Approve Initiative to Legalize Pot

The recreational use of marijuana will soon be legal for adults in Washington, at least under state law.
Credit Flickr Photo/prensa4 (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Audio Pending...

Correction:  In the original story Steve Sarich was referred to as an attorney.  He is not an attorney but a medical marijuana consultant and an opponent of I-502.

Hold off on that trip to Amsterdam. It appears recreational marijuana will soon be legal for adults in Washington, at least under state law.

The mood was jubilant at the official I-502 party at the Hotel Andra in downtown Seattle. In attendance was Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes, a primary backer of the measure. He says this law change is about good government.

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Ballot Initiatives
8:12 am
Tue November 6, 2012

What Happens After Vote On Gay Marriage, Pot And Charter Schools?

Credit Dey / Flickr

Marijuana legalization and same-sex marriage are hot-button issues on the Washington ballot. Even after the measures are decided, the debate will likely continue and changes won't happen overnight.

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Law
9:18 am
Mon October 29, 2012

Pot Measures Would Widen Legal Chasm Between Northwest States

Voters in both Oregon and Washington are considering measures this November that would legalize marijuana for recreational use. Photo courtesy DEA

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 4:49 pm

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.”

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Web Forums
3:47 pm
Thu October 25, 2012

Leafly: A Yelp For Medical Marijuana?

A new online Seattle startup called Leafly is targeting medical marijuana patients.  The website (and mobile apps) feature information about medical cannabis strains and dispensaries based on tens of thousands of patient-generated reviews.  Ross Reynolds talks with Leafly’s CEO Brendan Kennedy about how the site works.

Elections 2012
9:00 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Debating I-502: Should Washington State Legalize Marijuana?

Jake Dimmock, co-owner of the Northwest Patient Resource Center medical marijuana dispensary, prepares medical marijuana for distribution to patients, Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012, in Seattle.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Should marijuana be taxed and regulated in Washington state? Initiative 502 would allow for the sale and possession of marijuana for adults over 21. If voters approve I-502, Washington state would be out front in challenging federal marijuana policy. We discuss legalizing pot with Alison Holcomb of New Approach Washington, Douglas Hiatt of Sensible Washington, former DEA administrator Peter Bensinger and former Seattle police chief Norm Stamper.

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Marijuana
5:44 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Report: Arrests For Marijuana Disproportionally Affect Blacks, Latinos And Native Americans

Marijuana is weighed and packaged for sale at the Northwest Patient Resource Center medical marijuana dispensary, Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012, in Seattle.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

A new study by Marijuana Arrest Research Project says more than 240,000 people in Washington have been arrested for marijuana possession over the past 25 years, and that those arrested are disproportionally Black, Latino and Native American.

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