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January 24, 2013

Lots of interest and interesting ideas in Washington forum concerning marijuana legization implementation

How Colorado and Washington seek to implement their new regimes of legalizaed marijuana should be a fascinating story to watch throughout 2013 and beyond.  And this new local article from the Evergreen State, headlined "Washington Pot Forum Draws Standing Room Crowd," provides a window into the interesting discussions already taking place in one of these states:

The first public forum on how to implement Washington’s new marijuana law drew a capacity crowd Tuesday night in Olympia. The state’s Liquor Control Board is seeking input as it writes the rules for enacting Initiative 502 – Washington’s new pot legalization law.

They arrived early and in droves – the smell of marijuana clung in the air. First in line to get a seat for the forum was Leslie Tikka of Olympia. She mainly came to see a bit of history in the making. “I’ve thought about getting a license and holding it because I think it would be valuable because no one knows what’s going to happen with it," Tikka said. "But I don’t think I’d want to go in production. I don’t know enough.”

Inside, Liquor Control Board chair Sharon Foster had one reaction to the standing room only crowd: “wow.”... Foster told the audience Washington is about to go where no other state has gone before. The task over the next year: create a complex system to license marijuana producers, processors and sellers. And the audience had plenty of advice.

Justin Pitts came to Olympia all the way from Spokane. He has a felony conviction for pot and said that shouldn’t disqualify him from getting a license. “I’m one of the casualties that at 20 years old I got caught with a backpack full of pot and became a felon from it," Pitts explains. "Twenty years later now I’ve no other convictions, no problem, have multiple businesses and pay lots of taxes but yet I would be barred.”

Other suggestions: license as many producers as qualify in order to flood out the black market. Survey the public to see how much pot will be needed to meet demand – and then double it. Take into account the environmental impact of marijuana production.

It was mostly a ball caps and t-shirt crowd. But there was one guy in a pinstripe suit. Jamen Shively is a former Microsoft strategist. Now he plans to open high-end marijuana retail shops. “Our target market is baby boomers and so you’re going to have a lot of baby boomers. Maybe they tried the product 40 years ago, maybe they didn’t inhale," Shively says. "Well, now it’s safe to inhale. And the product has changed a lot.”...

The Liquor Control Board has five more public meetings scheduled around the state and plans to add more dates as needed.

January 24, 2013 at 09:41 AM | Permalink

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Comments

“I’m one of the casualties that at 20 years old I got caught with a backpack full of pot and became a felon from it," Pitts explains. "Twenty years later now I’ve no other convictions, no problem, have multiple businesses and pay lots of taxes but yet I would be barred.”

How's that? He had a felony pot conviction? But it's "no problem" and he now has "multiple businesses" so prosperous that they "pay lots of taxes"???

My goodness. Seems that all that stuff we hear about how a pot conviction ruins your life and your economic prospects is tripe. Imagine that.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Jan 24, 2013 1:49:24 PM

any felony conviction can and will ruin your life by through many aspects including substance convictions, hack

Posted by: been there | Jan 24, 2013 5:20:40 PM

LOL i guess the first thing would be the line item in their state budges for the 2,000,000 man militia to be used at the state borders to keep the feebs out of thier business.

Posted by: rodsmith | Jan 25, 2013 3:19:48 AM

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