Little marijuana policy change emerged in 2018’s short session


Last update: November 5, 2018


Lawmakers reconvened in Olympia on January 8, 2018, with several cannabis-related bills under consideration. With a short, 60-day session that wrapped up in March, however, there was little time for lawmakers, and no significant marijuana-bills emerged.

In August of 2017, then-U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions sent a series of letters to the governors of the first four legalization states, critical of their regulatory systems. Gov. Inslee was one such recipient, and like his peers in Oregon, Colorado, and Alaska, he was skeptical of the federal government’s dim assessment of state efforts. In response to the Department of Justice letter, Gov. Inslee called out the letter as based on outdated and incorrect information. Former Attorney General Sessions’ letter is available online here, along with Gov. Inslee’s response.

Officials have good reason to be supportive. Not only does it bring in revenue, Washington issued a report finding that neither the use of marijuana by those underage, nor marijuana-related abuse treatment admissions, increased after the state’s legalization of marijuana for adults. Quite simply, the sky hasn’t fallen in Washington, and there are no signs that it will. For a closer look at the law as it currently stands, be sure to check out the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board’s detailed FAQ, available here.

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