Gregoire to discuss pot law with federal enforcer
Washington voters' decision to legalize and tax marijuana sales will be the topic of a discussion between Gov. Chris Gregoire and a federal deputy attorney general on Tuesday.
Gov. Chris Gregoire will meet in Washington, D.C., with U.S. Deputy Attorney General James Cole on Tuesday to discuss state voters' decision last week to legalize and tax the sale of marijuana for recreational use.
Marijuana remains a banned substance under federal law, and it's not clear what the federal response will be.
Gregoire spokesman Cory Curtis said the governor wanted to meet with federal officials because "we want direction from them."
"Our goal is to respect the will of the voters, but give us some clarity," he said.
Initiative 502 passed with 55 percent of the vote. The measure decriminalizes possession of up to an ounce of marijuana beginning Dec. 6, but the state has a year to come up with rules for state-licensed growing, processing and labeling of pot before sales to adults can start. It also establishes a standard blood-test limit for driving under the influence of marijuana.
Public display or use of pot remains barred.
Colorado also passed a legalization measure. Colorado's governor and attorney general spoke by phone Friday with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, with no signal if the Justice Department will sue to block the measure.
Gregoire's meeting was a late addition to her schedule, Curtis said. Gregoire is in Washington, D.C., he said, to meet with Pentagon officials about issues involving the National Guard, and with Energy Secretary Steven Chu to discuss plans to deal with a leak at a double-walled tank of waste at Hanford, the nation's most contaminated nuclear site.