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Politics Northwest

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

Category: Marijuana
November 12, 2014 at 12:24 PM

Seattle City Council campaign round-up: Who’s running and who isn’t?

West Seattle (1st District) The race for West Seattle’s Seattle City Council seat is becoming more congested than the West Seattle Bridge during rush hour. Including George Capestany, a business consultant (and goat owner) who announced a bid Tuesday, there are now five people seeking the 1st District position as seven of the council’s nine seats move to geographic representation for the 2015 elections. West Seattle…


Comments | More in Local government, Marijuana, Minimum wage, Politics Northwest, Seattle City Council, State government | Topics: 2015 Seattle City Council elections, Alison Holcomb, George Capestany

July 16, 2014 at 12:54 PM

ACLU lawyer Alison Holcomb considering a run against Kshama Sawant

Alison Holcomb, criminal justice director for the ACLU of Washington and prime mover behind our state’s legal weed law, said she is “considering very seriously” running for Seattle City Council against incumbent Kshama Sawant. Holcomb has flirted with the idea of working in City Hall before, talking last year about a possible run for mayor or…


Comments | More in Marijuana, Seattle City Council | Topics: Alison Holcomb, I-502, kshama sawant

October 18, 2013 at 1:53 PM

California panel looks at legalizing pot with assist from Washington state

There was significant pot news out of California Thursday with the announcement that Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom is heading an ACLU panel that aims to put a legalization measure before Golden State voters during the next presidential election in 2016.

If such a measure passes in the country’s largest state, pot advocates have predicted it could effectively end federal prohibition of marijuana.

Alison Holcomb, the chief author of Washington state’s legal pot law, is on the panel along with at least one skeptic, Keith Humphreys, a former White House drug policy advisor. The panel includes 13 others, including medical, legal and law enforcement experts.

California voters rejected a legalization measure, Proposition 19 in 2010. But Prop. 19 lacked a plan for statewide regulation and taxation of legal pot. Only 46.5 percent of voters supported it.


Comments | More in Marijuana | Topics: Alison Holcomb, I-502, marijuana

September 9, 2013 at 4:34 PM

Inslee asks feds to fix banking woes for legal pot

Gov. Jay Inslee and state Attorney General Bob Ferguson asked a U.S. Senate committee for a key bit of help in creating a tightly regulated legal pot market. In written testimony submitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee for a Tuesday hearing, Inslee and Ferguson stressed that without changes at the federal level, Washington state’s legal pot merchants will…


Comments | More in Attorney General, Governor, Marijuana, Politics Northwest | Topics: Bob Ferguson, I-502, Jay Inslee

August 22, 2013 at 12:11 PM

Pot consultant offers solution to government standoff

Mark Kleiman, the state’s top pot consultant, has suggested a way to end the lingering tension between Washington’s new recreational pot law and the federal government, which considers all marijuana illegal.

And state Attorney General Bob Ferguson did not dismiss Kleiman’s idea. Ferguson said the AG’s office “has done their own examination” of Kleiman’s proposal and “it’s too soon to say” if it has traction with decision-makers.

Ferguson did not want to reveal any more about the state’s discussions with the federal Department of Justice. “I’m not ready to get into more detail about what communication is going on with the feds,” Ferguson said.

In an article published Wednesday in the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis, Kleiman said the DOJ now seems to have three options: cracking down on legalized pot in Washington and Colorado, acquiescing to legalization, or “muddling through”  with its current policy of only saying it continues to review new laws in those two states.

Kleiman sees two better alternatives.


Comments | More in Marijuana, Politics Northwest | Topics: Bob Ferguson, department of justice, marijuana

June 24, 2013 at 1:06 PM

U.S. mayors tell feds to respect local pot laws

Prodded by mayors including Mike McGinn of Seattle and Marilyn Strickland of Tacoma, the U.S. Conference of Mayors adopted a resolution Monday urging the federal government to respect the abilities of states and cities to implement policies such as marijuana legalization. The resolution carries no legal weight and was one of dozens adopted by the…


Comments | More in Marijuana, State government | Topics: marijuana, Mayor Mike McGinn

March 22, 2013 at 11:17 AM

State House holds hearing on taxing pot

OLYMPIA — A House committee held a public hearing on a bill Friday that would tax marijuana brand names and trademarks that could be registered in the state when sale of state-taxed recreational marijuana starts at the end of this year. The bill, which had a public hearing before the House Finance Committee Friday, would tax…


Comments | More in Marijuana, State Legislature

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…


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

March 13, 2013 at 7:00 AM

Danes importing pot advice from Pete Holmes

Copenhagen is looking at legalizing cannabis, as they call it, and Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes will be traveling to the Danish city to offer advice. Officials in Copenhagen also are exploring the possibility of importing weed from Washington and Colorado, the two states that voted in November to allow legal recreational marijuana use. According to…


Comments | More in Marijuana, Politics Northwest | Topics: marijuana, Pete Holmes

February 18, 2013 at 10:23 AM

Legislative items to watch this week: unmanned drones, marijuana convictions and unemployed veterans

This week the state Legislature will once again consider a diverse assortment of topics. Various committees will hold hearings on bills covering unmanned drones, marijuana convictions and unemployed veterans. Two weeks after Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn grounded the Seattle Police Department’s unmanned drown program, the House and Senate will hold hearings on legislation to outline regulations…


Comments | More in Marijuana, State Legislature | Topics: I-502, marijuana, mike mcginn

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