Washington moving forward on I-502 implementation
On November 6, 2012, Washington voters approved I–502, an initiative to tax and regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol. The Washington State Liquor Control Board is now working on the rules and regulations governing the production and sales of marijuana to adults 21 and older. In fact, the board recently hired consultants in order to help with the implementation process.
The new law — which went into effect on December 6, 2012 — will protect adults 21 and older in the Evergreen State from being arrested for possession and private use of up to an ounce of marijuana. The liquor board is charged with finalizing regulations by December 1, 2013. Once finalized, there will be a clearer idea of when marijuana retailers will begin operating. For more information on the law, see our I-502 FAQ.
Alison Holcomb of the WA-ACLU, along with such prominent local leaders as Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes and prominent travel writer Rick Steves, led the coalition – New Approach Washington – that qualified the petition and ran the campaign. Please join us in thanking them, their fellow initiative sponsors, and the entire campaign team at New Approach on all of their hard and wonderful work.
Gov. Gregoire sends mixed messages on medical marijuana
On November 30, 2011, then-Governor Christine Gregoire (D) held a press conference with Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee (I) to announce that they were formally petitioning the federal government to move marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II of the Controlled Substances Act. MPP was pleased to see the leaders of these two states stand up and call shenanigans on the erroneous scheduling of marijuana. However, our excitement over this news was tempered by the fact that this petition did nothing to address the lack of safe and affordable access to medical marijuana in Washington. In fact, Gov. Gregoire previously vetoed portions of a bill that would have provided patients with protections from arrest and regulated access to medical marijuana under state law. While the petition could pave the way for marijuana eventually being legally prescribed, previous rescheduling petitions have ultimately failed, and the petition may not even be heard for several years.
Thank you for supporting the Marijuana Policy Project and all of our allies. If you have questions about marijuana policy reform in Washington, please contact us by email at email@example.com for more information. Don't forget to subscribe to MPP's free legislative alert service, if you haven't done so already.