The Capitol Record

Inslee ‘encouraged’ after meeting with AG about marijuana initiative

Gov. Jay Inslee said there is no reason the state should put the brakes on the state’s implementation of Initiative 502 after meeting with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in Washington, D.C., Tuesday.

Inslee and Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson said the meeting was encouraging, but said the conversation did not reveal if the federal government plans to mount a legal fight over the initiative, which legalizes possession of up to one ounce of marijuana by persons 21 and older.

“He said nothing about what direction he’s heading or where he’d like to end up,” Inslee told reporters during conference call. “We want to give him time to fully understand the specifics.”

Inslee said he and Ferguson briefed Holder on the state’s intentions for licensing and regulation.

“He appears to be very interested in making a calm, cool and collected decision,” Inslee said.

The implementation of the new law, which would legalize and tax both the growing and sale of cannabis, is well underway with the Washington State Liquor Control Board beginning public meetings around the state this week.

Ferguson said Holder is aware of the time constraints the state is under.

“It was made clear that there are deadlines coming up soon. The Attorney General understands the need for some clarity in the coming months,” Ferguson said.

Washington and Colorado became the first states to legalize recreational marijuana last November. It remains illegal under federal law.

Inslee was visiting Washington, D.C., to attend President Obama’s inauguration on Monday.

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