Washington state should be conservative in how much legal marijuana it allows to be sold and strict in how it regulates pot advertising, a group of local public health and substance abuse prevention organizations says.
Two marijuana-related bills advanced Thursday in Olympia, with legislative committees giving their OK to one measure that would block police from arresting medical marijuana patients and another that would let people have misdemeanor pot convictions erased.
More than a dozen people, many of them medical marijuana patients or providers, testified Monday against a measure to tax medical marijuana dispensaries, an effort to undermine any black market when sale of state-taxed recreational marijuana starts at the end of this year.
Democratic Reps. Ross Hunter of Medina and Reuven Carlyle of Seattle introduced a bill Thursday that would tax marijuana sales from dispensaries 25 percent.
Oregon State Police say 40 pounds of marijuana have been seized in a Grants Pass-area motel parking lot. Detectives with the Rogue Area Drug Enforcement team responded to assist city police Monday at the parking lot where the city officers had gone on an unrelated disturbance call.
An effort is building in Congress to change U.S. marijuana laws, including moves to legalize the industrial production of hemp and establish a federal pot tax.
So far, no one is suggesting checkpoints or fences to keep Washington state’s legal pot within its borders. But Gov. Jay Inslee insists there are ways to prevent the bulk smuggling of the state’s newest cash crop into the black market, including digitally tracking weed to ensure that it goes from where it is grown to the stores where it is sold.
The state Liquor Control Board holds the second of a series of forums on legal marijuana sales Thursday night at Seattle City Hall.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson met with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder on Tuesday, but came away no further enlightened about how the federal government will respond to last fall’s votes in Washington and Colorado that set up legal markets for marijuana.
Members of the public are getting their chance to influence the creation of a legal marijuana market in Washington state.