State Liquor Board to "Carry Out the Will of the Voters" on Marijuana Initiative

But the U.S. Attorney's Office in Seattle says its enforcement stance is "unchanged."

The Washington State Liquor Control Board issued a statement Wednesday morning detailing how it plans to implement Initiative 502, saying it "will move forward to carry out the will of the voters."

The statewide initiative to decriminalize recreational marijuana use passed handily Tuesday night by a margin of 55 to 45 percent, according to initial ballot returns. (Click here to see a video of the crowd at the state Democrats' election night party in Seattle reacting to the news.)

fact sheet from the liquor board outlines several aspects of the new state law, including licensing fees, tax collection, price structure and more. The board said it expects to use the full year provided by the initiative to implement the new system.

The liquor control board's statement acknowledged that "questions remain ahead as we work to implement I-502. Chief among them is the issue that marijuana remains illegal at the federal level."

Does the legalization change your view on marijuana use? Will it make you more or less likely to use it? Tell us in the comments section.

Meanwhile, Emily Langlie, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Seattle, issued the following statement: 

The Department of Justice's enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act remains unchanged. In enacting the Controlled Substances Act, Congress determined that marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance. The Department is reviewing the ballot initiative here and in other states and has no additional comment at this time.

Obama drug policy adviser Dr. Kevin Sabet told ABC News he doesn't think election night results in Washington and Colorado, where voters also approved a marijuana de-criminalization measure, will be the end of the matter.

"I wouldn't advise anyone to toke up just yet. This is going to be caught up in the courts. This is a to-be-determined situation," Sabet said. 

Venice Buhain November 07, 2012 at 10:09 PM
Someone asked this on our Facebook page: like how does this work??? do u just walk into the 7/11 and buy a joint while u walk home smoking it??? Interesting question. The measure actually requires a license for marijuana retailers, but it's not clear to me whether a 7-Eleven owner could get a license, or if there are restrictions on that....
Local Guy November 08, 2012 at 02:42 AM
Venice, It will take the state approximately a year to setup the taxing and licensing infrastructure governing growers, distributors and retailers. State infrastructure is anticipated to be modeled after that of the recent state governance of liquor stores and sales. There is currently much to be defined and implemented. However, the DUI and legal possession aspects of I-502 are effective 12/6/2012. And no, I believe that public consumption will be restricted in a manner similar to that of alcohol.
employee November 08, 2012 at 03:10 AM
I think the consequences of this legislation are going to be fully realized when the pot smokers get pulled over, are subjected to a "test", found to be guilty of driving under the influence of narcotics, even though they smoked ten days before, are still guilty. You will pay a fine, a big fine. If you want to keep driving, you will have to jump through the hoops, about 5000 dollars worth, and that will affect your insurance too. This initiative is the worst thing to happen to pot smokers since paraquat.
Venice Buhain November 08, 2012 at 03:42 AM
Thanks for the comments, Local Guy and employee. It will be really interesting to see what the legal and practical ramifications are of this measure -- or whether the U.S. Justice Department will sue to block it.
Local Guy November 08, 2012 at 04:13 AM
Sorry, don't agree employee. Venice, Employee is referring to fears put forth by the medical community that patients will never be able to drive again due to always being in excess of DUI testing limits by virtue of daily medicating leaving them in a perpetual state of elevated non-compliance. Proponents counter that I-502 expressly tests for THC, not THC-COOH. THC remains active in the body for only hours before being metabolized into THC-COOH. THC-COOH remains body resident for weeks.
Jeanne Gustafson November 08, 2012 at 04:39 AM
Local Guy, thanks for your comment. Do you have any link to info about the THC vs. THC-COOH that you can share for Patch users, including what testing law enforcement has available to make the distinction? I think a lot of people would be interested in more info on that.
Venice Buhain November 08, 2012 at 05:20 AM
Local Guy, thanks for the response. I've also heard of people being concerned about the differences in state law vs. federal law and what the consequences might be for that. But whatever happens, people will be looking at Colorado and Washington as test cases on marijuana policy, I'm sure.
Local Guy November 08, 2012 at 05:29 PM
http://www.newapproachwa.org/sites/newapproachwa.org/files/I-502%20Factsheet%20-%20DUI.pdf http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/library/studies/canadasenate/vol1/chapter8_forms_of_testing.htm
Local Guy November 08, 2012 at 06:49 PM
also worthy of note is http://ftp.iza.org/dp6112.pdf, a 10 year study of the states with MMJ statutes which recognized a 9% drop in traffic deaths related to impaired driving, a result of MJ being an alternative to alcohol. and lastly, an amusing, but insightful 10 year study by 4autoinsurance.org which concluded that MJ drivers were safer then not only drunk drivers, but also sober drivers in some instances. http://www.4autoinsurancequote.com/uncategorized/reasons-why-marijuana-users-are-safe-drivers/
employee November 09, 2012 at 01:27 AM
Thanks Local Guy, I stand corrected. Thanks for posting legit sources and good information. I will pass this along.
employee November 09, 2012 at 01:39 AM
Local Guy, How does this apply to people that have a Commercial Drivers License? I am under the impression that the Federal laws concerning THC vs. THC-COOH dont apply in this situation, if you have info, it would be appreciated.
Local Guy November 11, 2012 at 12:24 AM
I do not have any information on that employee except that in all matters federally related, marijuana is considered an illicit substance and subject to the harshest, and most ignorant of interpretations. For instance, medical marijuana card holders can not own a registered weapon. Why? Because marijuana is an illicit substance, etc...
ira sacharoff November 11, 2012 at 01:13 AM
I'm pretty certain that if you hold a CDL and test positive for marijuana, you'll be subject to disciplinary action, even if this holds up in court and is allowed to be implemented. I know specifically for transit agencies like METRO, they receive federal funding and one of the contingencies of receiving that funding is that they perform pre-employment and random drug testing. I'd also suggest not walking into the Federal Building in downtown Seattle waving that ounce of bud around.


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