SPOKANE, Wash. - Adults who feel it's high time to get high might want to wait before they break out the Cheetos and Doritos. A legal haze looms over Initiative 502, which legalized recreational marijuana use starting December 6. While possession of up to an ounce of marijuana by adults ages 21 or over is now legal, growing and selling it remains a crime.
"You can't go to Starbucks or go to a drug store or a grocery store and be able to buy it there," said Brian Smith, spokesman for the Washington State Liquor Control Board. "It's spelled out in the law how it's retailed."
Recreational smokers won't be able to buy from medical marijuana shops without a prescription so the question is -- where can they legally get weed?
The law, passed last month by Washington voters, states that recreational smokers can only buy marijuana from state-licensed stores. However, here's where it gets tricky. It will be a year before the Washington State Liquor Control Board has a plan for how marijuana will be grown, processed, and sold.
"We'll be starting the rule-making process very soon and it's a very public process and so there's an opportunity for people to weigh in," Smith continued.
Spokane City Councilman Jon Snyder said, "It doesn't make a whole lot of sense but I understand why they needed the transition period to put the regulations together."
Snyder said he's already working with local and state leaders to plant policies which best suit Spokane.
"There's a lot of different impacts that could happen," Snyder said. "I'm thinking a lot about zoning. My specific zoning concerns is that we don't create these kind of marijuana ghettos in town that end of being attractants to crime."
While recreational smokers stay in legal limbo, many suspect the black market will thrive to meet consumer demands. Just take a look at Craigslist. There are plenty of pot ads there. It's the first of the new law's loopholes which Snyder hopes local leaders can nip in the bud.
"I think we have one opportunity to do this right so we need to put together the policies that are right for Spokane," Snyder said.
Additional information regarding I-502 and its implementation is available at:
Sunday, May 19 2013 7:54 PM EDT2013-05-19 23:54:08 GMT
KHQ.COM - The 2013 Spokane Lilac Festival Armed Forces Torchlight Parade is in the books. >>
KHQ.COM - The 2013 Spokane Lilac Festival Armed Forces Torchlight Parade is in the books. With tens of thousands of people in downtown Spokane watching the parade, the floats, the marching bands, we know you took plenty of pictures! Well, we want to see them!>>
Sunday, May 19 2013 10:30 AM EDT2013-05-19 14:30:26 GMT
KHQ.COM - The results of the 2013 Spokane Lilac Festival Armed Forces Torchlight Parade are coming in. We'll post them as we get them.>>
KHQ.COM - The results of the 2013 Spokane Lilac Festival Armed Forces Torchlight Parade are coming in. We'll post them as we get them. In the meantime, if you have any photos from Saturday night's parade and want to submit them for a slideshow, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org>>