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
3:46 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Former Pot 'Czar:' Washington's Taking Wrong Approach To Regulating Pot

Flickr Photo/Cannabis Culture (CC BY-NC-ND)

Steve Scher talks with UCLA public policy professor Mark Kleiman about why Washington and Colorado are taking the wrong approach to legalizing marijuana. He says the current system could lead to increased drug abuse among minors.

The Week In Review
3:38 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Medical Pot, Minimum Wage, And Lawmakers Wrap Up In Olympia

A screenshot of the interview on "Between Two Ferns."

State lawmakers adjourn in Olympia, Seattle's $15 minimum wage gets more scrutiny and President Obama tries comedy to pitch the Affordable Care Act to young Americans. 

Steve Scher reviews these stories and more with Eli Sanders of The Stranger, news analyst Joni Balter, Crosscut's Knute Berger and Livewire host Luke Burbank.

Legalized Marijuana
2:56 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Legislature Fails To Pass Medical Pot Regulations, Despite Feds' Warning

Flickr Photo/Rusty Blazenhoff (CC BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with Jenny Durkan, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington, about the state failing to pass medical pot regulations and what the federal government might do about it.

News
8:16 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Washington Legislature Adjourns With No Action On Medical Marijuana, Gas Tax

The floor of the Washington Senate on the last night of the 60-day session
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 3:17 pm

The Washington legislature adjourned its 60-day session just before midnight Thursday night.

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Tracking Legal Marijuana
7:56 am
Mon March 10, 2014

To Experts' Dismay, Teens Embrace Marijuana As 'Healthy' And 'Non-Addictive'

Credit Flickr Photo/Kamera Kizi (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Recreational marijuana is legal – for adults. But it’s clear that the movement toward legalization is having repercussions for teenagers too.

Federal authorities have said they will be monitoring whether Washington’s legal marijuana supply makes its way to underage users. It’s one of the indicators that they say could lead them to intervene in the state’s experiment.

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The Week In Review
1:49 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Minimum Wage Concerns, Pot Licenses, And Waterfront Week

Sean Green, seated right, is congratulated by Sean Fitzgerald, left, as Scott O'Neil looks on before Green is issued his new Washington state legal marijuana license Wednesday, March 5, 2014, in Olympia, Wash.
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

Small business owners voice concerns on a proposed $15 minimum wage, and the state issues its first marijuana business license to a grower from Spokane. Seattle also gets a glimpse into its future waterfront plans

Steve Scher reviews these stories and more with Eli Sanders of The Stranger, news analyst Joni Balter, Peter Jackson of the Everett Herald and Livewire's Luke Burbank.

Marijuana Legalization
7:45 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Celebratory Mood As Washington Issues First Pot License

Sean Green is the first business owner to receive a license to legally grow recreational pot.
Taylor Winkel Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 5:55 pm

Washington’s voter-approved effort to legalize recreational marijuana reached a major milestone.

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Cannabis
3:58 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Washington Issues Its First Recreational Marijuana License

Sean Green, seated right, is congratulated by Sean Fitzgerald, left, as Scott O'Neil looks on before Green is issued his new Washington state legal marijuana license Wednesday, March 5, 2014, in Olympia, Wash.
Credit AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

David Hyde hears from Sean Green about being the first producer-processor to receive a recreational marijuana license in the Washington state.

Then KUOW's Amy Radil tells us what this means for the recreational pot industry moving forward. 

Marijuana Legalization
3:45 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

How Washington Impacted The National Pot Debate

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

David Hyde talks with Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of Drug Policy Alliance, about how he thinks the national debate has changed after Washington legalized marijuana and what he sees as the future of crime and drugs.

Marijuana Tax
9:20 am
Tue March 4, 2014

Seattle City Council Rejects Tax Break For Pot Growers

Flickr Photo/Scott Beale (CC BY-NC-ND)

Marijuana growers who want to sell their products in Seattle will have to pay business license tax to the city.

On Monday, the City Council voted not to give pot growers a tax break reserved for farmers.

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Marijuana Retail
3:23 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

Cities To State Lawmakers: Don't Bogart The Pot Revenue

Flickr Photo/Coleen Whitfield (CC BY-NC-ND)

David Hyde talks with Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland about her request to Governor Jay Inslee and state lawmakers to share a portion of future tax revenue from legal marijuana.

Delayed Research
12:33 am
Mon March 3, 2014

Evidence On Marijuana's Health Effects Is Hazy At Best

C. Nash smokes after possession of marijuana became legal in Washington state on Dec. 6, 2012.
Ted S. Warren AP

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 6:23 am

Colorado opened its first pot stores in January, and adults in Washington state will be able to walk into a store and buy marijuana this summer. But this legalization of recreational marijuana is taking place without much information on the possible health effects.

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Marijuana Legalization
8:43 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Pot Tax Revenue Estimates Likely Hazy

Wikimedia

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 2:37 pm

Within the next year, marijuana taxes will start arriving in Washington state coffers. But how much money can the state realistically expect to take in from legal, recreational pot sales?

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Pot Legalization
3:25 pm
Sun February 23, 2014

No Easy Answers For DUI Concerns As Marijuana Gains Support

A customer smells a strain of marijuana while being helped by employee Billy Archilla inside the retail marijuana shop at 3D Cannabis Center in Denver.
Brennan Linsley AP

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 6:14 am

The Lodo Wellness Center in Denver has been selling medical marijuana for several years. But since Jan. 1, when marijuana in Colorado officially moved from underground to behind the counter, the center has also been selling legal, recreational pot.

A majority of Americans now say they support full legalization, and the trend is spreading to other states.

Meanwhile, the public health community is warning of a potential safety problem: more people driving while stoned. But health officials and law enforcement don't yet have the data or the tools to address the concern.

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