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Originally published Monday, January 21, 2013 at 3:49 PM

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Wash. looks to build strict controls for marijuana

Washington state officials are looking to build a strictly regulated marijuana system that could forestall federal concerns about how the drug will be handled once it's available for public purchase.

Associated Press

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OLYMPIA, Wash. —

Washington state officials are looking to build a strictly regulated marijuana system that could forestall federal concerns about how the drug will be handled once it's available for public purchase.

Rick Garza of the Washington Liquor Control Board said Monday he expects the federal government will try and take action if Washington's system has loose controls. He says it's important for Washington to have a strong regulatory structure that would limit how much marijuana is grown to ensure that it's only meeting demand for in-state users.

Garza's comments came a day before Gov. Jay Inslee was set to meet with the federal Department of Justice to discuss the marijuana law. Washington voters approved the marijuana law in November, but DOJ officials have not indicated whether it will allow Washington and Colorado to create legal marijuana markets, since the drug is illegal under federal law.

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