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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

March 12, 2014 at 6:03 AM

Marijuana legalization: Best monitored and enforced locally

As the details of marijuana legalization are being hashed out, it is becoming clear that local jurisdictions have a powerful voice [“Too little info makes reform on marijuana challenging,” Local News, March 10].

Of the 334 retail stores that the Washington State Liquor Control Board is licensing throughout the state, about 50 percent of them will be in cities. Additionally, growers and producers will be able to locate inside city jurisdictions. Federal prosecutors have stated that they will not intervene as long as the new state law aligns with national drug policy goals like preventing distribution to minors, money from reaching criminal hands, adverse health impacts, and increased driving accidents. The monitoring of these things is largely done at the local level and can hardly be regulated efficiently at a state level.

SB 5887, an effort toward reconciling medical and recreational marijuana regulations, is before the state Senate. It also addresses revenue sharing. However, the details still remain unclear, and there is no guarantee that the state House will agree to revenue sharing.

Any impacts will most likely be seen at a local level and I-502 gives local jurisdictions certain authorities to control marijuana uses in their communities. Given these rights, the corresponding responsibilities that come with them and the fact that the state government does not have the resources to ensure that I-502 is implemented to federal standards, shouldn’t Washington cities be better funded?

Kali Hollenhorst, Seattle

Comments | More in Marijuana | Topics: Kali Hollenhorst, marijuana, SB 5887

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