Gov. Jay Inslee takes issue with unfair claims in Department of Justice letter


Last update: January 2, 2018


Lawmakers reconvene in Olympia on January 8, and several cannabis-related bills have already been filed. One sensible measure, HB 2336, would prevent local jurisdictions from banning marijuana-related businesses without a vote from the people who live there. While marijuana prohibition ended in many parts of Washington, prohibition policies are still common in rural parts of the state.

Officials at the state level have been supportive of the state program. In August, 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 Inslee called out the letter as based on outdated and incorrect information. U.S. 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 recently 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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