NY Times letter from WA State Senator
Published on Sep 20, 2013
Your recent editorial calling for federal clarification on marijuana enforcement laws (“The Marijuana Muddle,” Sept. 13) is well taken but not the entire solution. Though federal authorities have an important role in how marijuana sales are regulated and enforced, state and local officials are at least as important.
As our state enacts our new recreational marijuana system after voter approval of Initiative 502 last November, we must also clarify our state’s regulation of medical cannabis.
As one of 20 medical cannabis states, Washington is wrestling with how to ensure that legitimate, authorized patients can safely and reliably access medicine, while protecting the public and eliminating the black market in our new recreational marijuana system.
We are addressing how to keep recreational users from trying to avoid paying taxes in licensed stores by obtaining marijuana from currently unregulated medical cannabis “dispensaries” and making sure we comply with all eight provisions of the Justice Department’s recently released guidelines, including restricting minors from obtaining the product.