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.

Recreational marijuana will be legal in Oregon starting July 1. And with it comes a host of new business opportunities.

Oregon lawmakers are moving ahead with a plan that would change the way recreational marijuana is taxed.

Ross Reynolds interviews University of Washington emeritus professor Roger Roffman about moves in the state legislature to redirect marijuana tax revenue away from education to balance the budget. Roffman explains what he thinks the impact will be on public health.

Oregonians could be able to buy marijuana for recreational use much sooner than anticipated.

Marcie Sillman speaks with Vaughn Palmer, columnist for the Vancouver Sun, about newly legalized edible products for medical marijuana users and botched plans for international yoga day.

The marijuana industry has a pesticide problem. Many commercial cannabis growers use chemicals to control bugs and mold. But the plant's legal status is unresolved.

The grow room at Medical MJ Supply in Fort Collins, Colo., has all the trappings of a modern marijuana cultivation facility: glowing yellow lights, plastic irrigation tubes, and rows of knee-high cannabis plants.

"We're seeing a crop that's probably in it third or fourth week," says Nick Dice, the owner.

Recreational marijuana will soon be legal to use in Oregon and the state Tuesday unveiled a public education campaign meant to help people understand the new law.

A marijuana shop owner in Clarkston, Washington, opened his doors Friday in defiance of the city’s ban on pot sales.

Db3's Chemist Eric Winterstein measures THC content in recreational marijuana. He has two dreams: bringing science to medical marijuana, and someday enjoying a legal drink made from this mixture of alcohol and THC, a byproduct of his lab.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray says all medical marijuana dispensaries in Seattle are illegal. So he wants to shut half of them down, starting with those that opened recently and haven’t been paying taxes. Those left standing, he plans to offer legitimacy through a city license. 

KUOW’s Joshua McNichols was at the announcement and filed this report.

Not Your Mother's Pot Brownie

May 25, 2015

Twenty-three states now allow marijuana for medical use and several others are considering doing the same. Two states including Colorado now allow recreational use of the drug as well.

For people who are sick and use pot to relieve symptoms related to pain, seizures or depression, smoking is often not an option.

The so-called edible market is becoming big business in Colorado, where patients can buy cannabis-infused brownies, truffles and ice cream at their neighborhood dispensary.

Marijuana sales and a recovering housing market should help boost Washington tax collections by more than $300 million over the next two years.

Maria Moses of Dockside Cannabis in Shoreline, Washington, shows off a jar where customers can smell a marijuana sample.
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

When recreational marijuana became legal in Washington state, people wondered what would happen to medical marijuana dispensaries.

Gov. Jay Inslee answered that question in April, when he signed a law requiring they obtain licenses and join the state regulatory system.

But medical marijuana dispensary owners have more questions about emerging from the shadows, and they’re turning Robert McVay, an attorney with Seattle’s Canna Law Group.

A special legislative committee meant to help pave the way for legalized recreational marijuana in Oregon has hit some road bumps.

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