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The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

March 15, 2013 at 4:36 PM

State lawmaker invites Eric Holder to committee hearing on pot

With U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder still deciding how exactly to respond to our new marijuana legalization law, one state lawmaker hopes a trip to Olympia is in store for the country’s top law-enforcement official.

State Rep. Chris Hurst, D-Enumclaw, sent a letter to Holder on Friday, inviting the attorney general to come to town for Hurst’s hearing next week on a bill regarding enforcement of the law.

“If Washington’s attempt at replacing the criminal market with a carefully controlled and regulated legitimate market is to be successful a close partnership to enforce state and federal drug laws against those remaining entities who operate outside the law will be necessary,” wrote Hurst, who chairs the House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee. “I would like to offer an invitation to you or your representative to attend next Tuesday’s hearing.”

Will the late invitation — sent on Friday for a Tuesday hearing across the country — be accepted?

A call to the public affairs division of the Office of the Attorney General was not immediately returned.

House Bill 2000, sponsored by Hurst, would tweak provisions related to fines for violators, the price of permits for growers and sellers, and how close a marijuana store can be to schools, among other changes.

Holder told a congressional panel last week that he expects to make an announcement “relatively soon” about new marijuana laws in Washington and Colorado.

Comments | More in Marijuana, State Legislature | Topics: chris hurst, Eric Holder, initiative 502

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