The governor of Washington state met with Attorney General Eric Holder today about Washington’s new law legalizing marijuana. And despite tough talk from Seattle U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan, Gov. Jay Inslee said he came away encouraged.
“I went into this (Holder meeting) believing our state should go ahead with implementation. Nothing that I heard dissuaded me from that view,” Inslee said on a conference call with reporters, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. He called the meeting “very satisfying.”
Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson told Holder the state wanted to “avoid a legal fight,” but that authorities are prepared to defend Initiative 502, which voters approved 56 to 44 percent in November. The new law aims to legalize and tax the sale of marijuana to adults over the age of 21, but it is in conflict with the federal Controlled Substances Act, which makes pot possession illegal.
Colorado also passed a similar pot-legalization law in November.
Inslee told reporters that the most pressing issue is controlling a potential “leakage” of marijuana outside of Washington. The newly elected Democratic governor opposed Initiative 502 during his campaign, but has said he would implement the will of the voters.
Holder asked a lot of questions at the meeting, according to the Associated Press. Washington state must now establish rules for regulating marijuana sales, and they must pass muster with the feds.
Inslee stressed he didn’t know ultimately what the federal government would do. But an unnamed source told the Post-Intelligencer. “It was a great meeting.”