Marijuana legalization

Marijuana Legalization
9:20 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Will U.S. Try To Snuff Out State Marijuana Laws?

A worker inspects a marijuana plant at a grow house in Denver on Nov. 8.
Ed Andrieski AP

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 1:54 pm

The Justice Department has a big decision to make.

Parts of new laws in Colorado and Washington that legalize small amounts of recreational marijuana will take effect early next month. The Obama administration needs to choose whether it will sue to stop the legislation or let those states go their own way — even though the drug remains illegal under federal law.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, says the message he got from voters is unambiguous.

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Diversions
1:42 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

What should the agency in charge of marijuana licensing be called?

Now that Washington voters have put the State Liquor Control Board in charge of coming up with the rules and process for licensing the growing and selling of marijuana, we're wondering what the agency's new name should be.

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Marijuana Legalization
9:52 am
Fri November 16, 2012

Special Radio Report: Now that marijuana is legal, what's next?

medcannaman Flickr

Now that marijuana’s about to be legal, you might be wondering more about the details, how this will actually play out across Washington state.

KPLU reporters have created a special audio report by expanding our original series of stories, which takes you on a wide-ranging tour of how legalized marijuana will impact society, from routine traffic stops to intimate family discussions, from pot farms to public consumption.

Four fuzzy images are coming into focus:

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marijuana legalization
7:05 am
Fri November 16, 2012

It's Legal To Sell Marijuana In Washington. But Try Telling That To A Bank.

David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 19, 2012 11:03 am

Voters in Washington and Colorado just approved measures legalizing marijuana for recreational use. But businesses that want to sell marijuana in those states will face a problem: No bank wants to do business with them.

I called several banks in Washington. I called a local credit union, a tiny bank in the San Juan islands. Everybody said basically the same thing. Even if selling marijuana is legal under state law, it's still illegal under federal law. And banks and credit unions worry that this could get them in trouble.

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Marihuana legalization
2:34 pm
Wed November 14, 2012

Reps. Ron Paul, Barney Frank Ask Obama To Respect Pot Legalization Laws

Fast Eddy Aki'a of Hawaii smokes a joint as thousands of supporters of legalized pot, lit up at 4:20 p.m. on April 20 in Denver, Colorado.
Marc Piscotty Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 4:31 am

Reps. Ron Paul (R-Texas) and Barney Frank (D-Mass.) are asking the White House to respect the voters of Colorado and Washington, who decided that recreational marijuana use should be legal.

In a letter sent to President Obama, they wrote:

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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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