By this post’s title, you’d think we were in a sordid film. But really we were in the House Republican Caucus room for the GOP’s weekly media availability. Notable highlights: 1. Several bills to change the gun purchase background-check expansion, the recently passed Initiative 594, were heard Monday in committee hearings. But Rep. Shelly Short, R-Addy, said they aren’t likely to…More
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OLYMPIA — A crowded Senate hearing Thursday reviewed controversial legislation proposed by State Sen. Ann Rivers, R-La Center, to regulate medical marijuana dispensaries the same as recreational stores. Growing operations, the Washington CannaBusiness Association, the city of Seattle and others were there in favor of more regulation. Eric Cooper, co-owner of Monkey Grass Farms, a growing and…More
Going into the start of the legislative session next month, lawmakers will be looking at a host of issues around marijuana. Pot reporter Evan Bush already has written on a proposal to slash pot taxes and fold medical marijuana operations into the state’s regulated system. While I didn’t see that plan yet filed during…More
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…More
WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert on Tuesday introduced a bill to ban the use of welfare benefit cards at stores selling marijuana, adding them to a prohibited list that includes casinos, liquor stores, strip clubs and tattoo parlors. Reichert, a Republican from Auburn, joined 11 other lawmakers in sponsoring the “Preserving Welfare for Needs…More
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.More
Most medical marijuana patients should be brought into the recreational pot market the state is creating, urged all nine Seattle City Council members in a letter to Gov. Jay Inslee and key legislators. The medical marijuana market continues to operate, at best, in a gray market, council members said, which could undermine the state’s goal of curtailing…More
WASHINGTON — King County Sheriff John Urquhart said his deputies will vigorously enforce Washington’s new marijuana law, especially against underage pot smokers. Urquhart is testifying today before the Senate Judiciary Committee on how to reconcile the state’s legalization of pot and the still-on-the-books federal prohibition. In an interview before the hearing, Urquhart said he sees little…More
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…More
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.More