Marijuana legalization

Marijuana legalization
3:43 pm
Tue November 13, 2012

Update: Feds haven't made up their minds about legal pot

Initiative 502 passed with 55 percent of the vote last week.
Kathleen Ann Flickr

Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire says the federal government still hasn't decided whether to take action to block new laws legalizing marijuana in her state and Colorado.

Gregoire met Tuesday with Deputy Attorney General James Cole in Washington, D.C. Gregoire told Cole she would prefer to know "sooner rather than later," because Washington is in the process of getting ready to decriminalize pot, which is still illegal under federal law.

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Marijuana legalization
2:09 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

4 things to remember about possessing legal marijuana

You can have marijuana but not buy it legally. That's one of four things to remember when Dec. 6 rolls around.
The Associated Press

Okay, on Dec. 6 we can legally have pot in our pockets. But there are still at least four things to consider when contemplating your first legal marijuana possession – not counting how or if the federal laws will be enforced.

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Politics
10:03 am
Thu November 8, 2012

Federal government will likely try to block marijuana law, expert says

Now that voters have legalized recreational marijuana in Washington state, the question is whether the federal government will sue to block it. One legal expert says he expects a court challenge.

Washington’s initiative 502 doesn’t just legalize possession of small quantities of marijuana. It sets up a system for licensing cultivation and sale of the drug and then imposes a tax system. Sam Kamin is a professor of law at the University of Denver. He says he thinks the federal government will determine that Washington’s law is going too far and will challenge it in court.

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2012 Elections
7:21 am
Thu November 8, 2012

Same-sex marriage backers declare win; Feds expected to battle legal pot

"The Department of Justice's enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act remains unchanged," read identical statements issued by the U.S. attorney's offices in Denver and Seattle.
Kathleen Ann Flickr

Washington joined Colorado in voting to become the first states to legalize and tax the sale of marijuana for recreational use, but people shouldn't expect to be able to buy a bag of legitimate weed any time soon.

Nor should they expect the law to go into effect with out a fight with federal law agencies, said Sam Kamin, professor of law at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.

“My gut feeling is that the federal government won’t currently tolerate the commercial recreational sale of marijuana, that is they will not allow it to be regulated like alcohol. That just seems a bridge too far,” he said.

Complete I-502 story.

Same-sex marriage backers say they've won

Washington United for Marriage has declared victory in the same-sex marriage referendum.

“This is a clear win,” the group's campaign manager Zach Silk said in a press release.

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2012 Elections
4:34 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

State liquor board chair: First question is how to grow legal marijuana

“We are in new territory," said Sharon Foster of the Washington State Liquor Control Board.
Rusty Blazenhof Flickr

Washington voters have approved the recreational use of marijuana. Many questions remain about how this will work, since it’s still a federal crime to use pot. But the state agency that will regulate the industry is getting into gear.

The law making it legal to possess up to an ounce of pot takes effect one month after Election Day, on Dec. 6. And the state liquor board has a year after that to write the rules that will oversee marijuana production and sales.

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2012 Elections
3:04 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

Partners in crime? New state laws challenge fed’s marijuana stance

Will new marijuana legalization laws in Washington and Colorado force the federal government to rethink its stance on the drug?
Paul Evans Flickr

First came marijuana as medicine. Now comes legal pot for the people.

Colorado and Washington have become the first states to allow pot for recreational use.

Those who have argued for decades that legalizing and taxing weed would be better than a costly, failed U.S. drug war now have their chance to prove it.

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Marijuana legalization
9:44 am
Wed November 7, 2012

Feds expected to battle Washington, Colorado over legal marijuana

"The Department of Justice's enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act remains unchanged," read identical statements issued by the U.S. attorney's offices in Denver and Seattle.
The Associated Press

Washington joined Colorado in voting to become the first states to legalize and tax the sale of marijuana for recreational use, but people shouldn't expect to be able to buy a bag of legitimate weed any time soon.

Nor should they expect the law to go into effect with out a fight with federal law agencies, said Sam Kamin, professor of law at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.

“My gut feeling is that the federal government won’t currently tolerate the commercial recreational sale of marijuana, that is they will not allow it to be regulated like alcohol. That just seems a bridge too far,” he said.

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Initiative 502
9:00 pm
Tue November 6, 2012

Marijuana legalization initiative becomes law in Washington

At right, Alison Holcomb, one of the lead organizers for I-502, checks result at the pro-I-502 party in Seattle.
Gabriel Spitzer KPLU

Washington voters have made their state the first in the nation to legalize recreational pot use, setting up a showdown with a federal government that backs the drug's prohibition.

Update: Colorado also passed a law making possession of up to an ounce legal. That state will also allow individuals to grow six marijuana plants. Oregon's pot legalization effort failed.

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marijuana legalization
4:12 pm
Mon October 29, 2012

Idaho officers look askance at possible legal pot in Wash., Oregon

Busted in Idaho: A young man crossed into Idaho with marijuana and paid the price. According to Idaho State Police records, 40% of pot seizures in the state come from medical marijuana from Oregon.

Voters in both Oregon and Washington are considering measures this November that would legalize marijuana for recreational use. If they pass, the laws would further widen the legal gap with neighboring Idaho, where police worry about spillover.

Idaho State Police Major Kevin Hudgens just learned about the two measures to the west of his state. He says they concern him.

“Common sense tells me that I’m sure we’d see some of our residents going over to Oregon and Washington to purchase marijuana. So, we would likely see an increase in that.”

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Marijuana legalization
3:22 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

Marijuana Notes: If it passes, possession is legal on Dec. 6th

“... however you wound up coming into possession of marijuana, it is not a crime for you be in possession of marijuana," said an initiative backer.
Pedro Fp Flickr

If Initiative 502 passes, walking around with a bag of marijuana (up to an ounce) will be legal just in time for the holidays … so take note, gift-givers (and be aware those of you who might think the law takes effect right away). 

Even though the elaborate state-regulated apparatus for growing, processing and selling marijuana would take more than a year to come online, simple possession would be legal starting December 6.

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Marijuana legalization
3:45 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Washington has one of 3 ballot measures that would OK pot beyond medicine

A marijuana bud at a marijuana dispensary in Denver. Colorado, Oregon and Washington could become the first to legalize marijuana this fall.
Ed Andrieski AP

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 2:53 pm

Marijuana legalization is back on the ballot this year. California voters defeated a legalization proposal in 2010, but now similar measures have cropped up in three more Western states. This time around, some of the most intense opposition is coming from the earlier pioneers of legalization — the medical marijuana industry.

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Marijuana Legalization
5:15 am
Fri October 19, 2012

How should you talk to your kids about marijuana?

Talking about drugs and alcohol with kids is awkward. And now that there is an initiative on November’s ballot that would make marijuana legal for people 21 and older, families might want to figure out what their boundaries will be.  So far, 17 year old Mary Kupper, a junior at Lakeside School, hasn’t gotten that memo yet from her parents Bill and Jane Kupper.

“In recent memory, they’ve never told me ‘don’t do marijuana’. I consider myself a pretty good kid. We’ve had more alcohol talks than pot talks." 

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2012 Elections
2:28 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Latest poll: Charter schools, same-sex marriage lead; governor race in virtual tie

The KCTS Washington Poll results were released today. More than 3.85 million ballots began to be sent to voters Wednesday.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

Voters in Washington are likely to approve two ballot measures that have failed in the past. A new poll shows both charter schools and same-sex marriage are leading by healthy margins.

The KCTS 9 Washington Poll also shows a statistical tie in the Governor’s race between Democrat Jay Inslee and Republican Rob McKenna.  

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Marijuana Legalization
5:00 pm
Mon October 15, 2012

Feds silent so far on marijuana ballot measures

Marijuana activists rally in support of Measure 80 in front of the Oregon state capitol Monday.
Virginia Alvino N3

Two years ago, US Attorney General Eric Holder opposed a California initiative to legalize marijuana. But this year, the Justice Department has been silent on similar measures before voters in Washington, Oregon and Colorado. Monday, a group of former federal drug officials urged the Obama administration to weigh in.

Former Drug Enforcement Administration chief Peter Bensinger says if voters approve the marijuana legalization measures, they’ll put their residents at odds with federal drug laws.

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If it's legal
10:36 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Will legal marijuana make police less effective?

As an officer, you might get a call to go to the local 7-11 because of a public disturbance. You get there and find the perpetrators have marijuana on them. You can book them and take them to jail.
Connor Tarter Flickr

Washington voters are weighing whether to become the first state to legalize marijuana. All this week in our series "If it’s legal: Five ways legal pot could affect your life," KPLU reporters have been imagining what the future could look like if it passes.Today, we look at how legal pot could change policing.

In Washington state, between 9,000 and 10,000 people are arrested each year for possession of marijuana. If voters approve Initiative 502, it will suddenly be legal to possess up to an ounce of marijuana, enough to fill about a quarter of a small plastic sandwich bag. 

How would legalization affect who goes to jail and how our communities are policed?

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