– Mark Kleiman has won the contract to be the main consultant for the implementation of I-502. Like most drug law reformers, I’ve had strong disagreements with him, but I think he can be a good fit for this role. And this is yet another foot forward in legitimizing what the voters have demanded, a legal and regulated market for marijuana that parallels alcohol in many ways.
– Representative Chris Hurst (D-Crazytown) has decided that I-502 needs some fixing. Amazingly, we agree on one aspect, his desire to have the 1000ft rule reduced to 500ft. And we agree over why (because it will likely push more marijuana retail outlets into the suburbs). We just disagree over why that’s a problem. But for all else, I have little regard for what Hurst thinks, since he’s the reason we had to pass this thing as a voter initiative in the first place. If he wanted to provide input on this initiative, he had his chance last winter when it first went to the legislature. He didn’t, so maybe next time, instead of being a whiny asshole after the fact, he’ll do his job in the first place.
– The Seattle Times editorial board is absolutely right to criticize Washington’s Congressional delegation for failing to be more vocal in support of I-502. The voters of this state overwhelmingly passed this initiative, yet neither Senator (nor even Jim McDermott!) has spoken out to see that it be implemented without federal interference.
– Some community members in Rainier Valley are upset at the large number of dispensaries that have set up shop there recently. There’s an easy solution to this – just wait. Dispensaries currently use a very creative interpretation of the 10-member rule (when you’re there obtaining medicine, you become a member, and when you leave you stop being a member). For the time being, law enforcement (particularly in Seattle) has little interest in challenging them. However, once I-502 is implemented and there are state-licensed retail outlets, I’m betting that the hammer will come down on the folks who try to stick with the “collective garden with a storefront” model. Especially if they’re not conforming with the 1000ft rule in I-502, which requires all retail outlets to be 1000ft from a school, park, and other places where children congregate.
– A Seattle entrepreneur is planning to turn a vacant Pacific County sawmill into a marijuana production facility. I think it can be somewhat overstated how much the marijuana industry alone can help the economy, but it’s still great to see it might allow for the re-purposing of old facilities and bringing new jobs to this state’s small towns.