Jay Inslee wants to move forward with legal weed.
Classifying it as the first in what will likely become a "series of conversations," new Washington


Meeting Between Inslee, Ferguson and U.S. AG Eric Holder On Legal Weed in Washington Provides Zero Answers

Jay Inslee wants to move forward with legal weed.
Classifying it as the first in what will likely become a "series of conversations," new Washington Governor Jay Inslee and state Attorney General Bob Ferguson met Tuesday in Washington D.C. with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to discuss the implementation of I-502 - which legalized recreational pot use for adults in our state when it was overwhelmingly approved by voters last November.

Though Inslee repeatedly told reporters during a conference call Tuesday afternoon that Holder offered "nothing dispositive" regarding the Justice Department's eventual response to the legalization of pot in Washington, the new governor said he emerged from the meeting encouraged by what he heard and appreciative of Holder's willingness to thoughtfully listen and consider the state's plan for implementing the initiative.

Inslee indicated the state will move forward with the rule-making process required under I-502, in hopes of being able to issue licenses to grow and sell weed by August. Ferguson, meanwhile, said the state will also be prepared to legally defend the initiative should it come to that.

"We had a very satisfying discussion about the ability of our state to move forward," with I-502, said Inslee, who described Holder as "interested in making a very calm, cool and collected decision" on the matter.

According to Inslee, the meeting with AG Holder was a chance for Washington to explain how our state plans to prevent its legal weed from crossing state lines (good luck with that), and also provide clarity regarding the expected duties of state employees under I-502.

"We very much appreciate [Holder's] willingness to consider in great detail the particulars of the initiative," said Inslee.

Bob Ferguson will be ready to defend I-502 like a mofo.
Though a lawsuit seeking an injunction against legal weed in Washington remains a very real possibility from the Justice Department, Inslee said he never specifically asked Holder what the feds' response to I-502 will be - saying the time will come for such a question down the road.

Instead, Inslee told reporters he went into the meeting with Holder believing Washington should move forward with the state liquor control board rule making process prescribed under I-502, and nothing Holder said dissuaded him from that viewpoint.

"There was nothing dispositive in the AG's comments," explained Inslee (again and again). "He said nothing to show what direction he's headed, or where he would like to end up."

For his part, while Ferguson says he is hopeful Washington and the feds will be able to reach a common ground on I-502 and avoid a legal fight, the state attorney general will nonetheless be prepared should such a situation occur. Ferguson indicated he already has a team of lawyers in his office preparing the state's defense of I-502 - calling it a priority - though he said assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the state's case would be premature at this point.

"We particularly emphasized the issue of timing," said Ferguson, regarding Washington's need to establish rules and guidelines for the implementation of I-502 in the coming year. "We made it very clear we're moving forward. I think it's fair to say AG holder understood we will need some clarity."

Eventually, it's presumed, that clarity will come.

But it didn't come yesterday.

Stay tuned.

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