marijuana legalization

Two marijuana shop owners in Clarkston, Washington, are facing criminal charges for selling pot in defiance of a citywide ban.

Washington Pot Law Marks One Year

Jul 8, 2015
Dank Depot/FLIKR

Wednesday marks the first year of recreational marijuana in Washington state. Sales so far have exceeded $250 million.  And the state made more than $65 million in taxes.

Beyond the tax money, Washington state has been able to prevent youth access to marijuana. It's also stopped the product from being diverted to the black market.

That’s according to Brian Smith, with the Washington State Liquor Control Board.

“If you judge Washington by that measure, I would say that we’ve been very successful in creating the rules that govern that system,” says Smith.

Pot Advocates Gather For Midnight Portland Party

Jul 1, 2015
miss.libertine/FLIKR

Wednesday marks the legalization of recreational marijuana in Oregon. A crowd of pot advocates gathered at midnight near the Burnside Bridge in Portland to celebrate the change in drug policy.

The city’s chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws helped organize the event.

Russ Belville is executive director of the Portland group. He says they weren’t initially planning a large event. 

The voter-approved Measure 91 is now in effect and adults in Oregon can now legally possess and use marijuana for recreational purposes.

Recreational marijuana will be legal in Oregon starting July 1. And with it comes a host of new business opportunities.

A special legislative committee meant to help pave the way for legalized recreational marijuana in Oregon has hit some road bumps.

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Starting in July, adults in Oregon can legally use recreational marijuana. But thousands of Oregonians will still have criminal records for marijuana offenses that would have been legal under the new law. Now, there are efforts in the Oregon legislature to let some people wipe the slate clean when it comes to pot convictions. Chris Lehman spoke to some who are involved.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee said it’s time for the “Wild West” days of medical marijuana to come to an end.

The Washington state Senate voted unanimously Wednesday to make hemp farming legal. The measure now goes to the state House for further consideration.

Washington State Patrol

Voters have legalized recreational marijuana in Washington and Oregon, but police continue to find illegal marijuana grows on public lands.

In fact, Washington authorities report an uptick in plant seizures and arrests this year.

Sometimes, It’s Hard To Give Away Money

Dec 11, 2014
markemark4 / Flickr

It’s not always easy to give money to charity. Sometimes… people just don’t want it.

Last month, a farmer in Prosser auctioned off his marijuana harvest. It was Washington’s first such auction. Randy Williams, owner of Fireweed Farms, wanted to “get rid of it all quick.” And he did, selling 300 pounds of pot for $600,000.

AP Images

Leaders of a marijuana advocacy group launched in Idaho two weeks ago say they have already attracted more than 200 volunteers. New Approach Idaho wants to put a ballot measure before Idaho voters in 2016 to legalize medical marijuana. The group was formed, in part, by members of similar groups who have failed in their legalization efforts. New Approach Idaho co-founder Bill Esbensen says others have struggled with organization.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

A new law to legalize recreational marijuana in Oregon doesn't begin to take effect until next year. That means state lawmakers have the chance to tweak the measure before it kicks in. A legislative panel discussed some options Wednesday at the state capitol.

Measure 91 allows adults in Oregon to grow, possess, and sell marijuana under state regulation. Just what that state regulation looks like is still being determined. Democratic Senator Lee Beyer reminded his colleagues that there's nothing to stop them from putting their own stamp on the voter-approved measure.

John Rosman / OPB

This week, Oregon voters chose to legalize marijuana and to direct the Oregon Liquor Control Commission to draw up rules to tax pot and to keep it out of the hands of people under 21. Now regulators in Oregon have to figure out how to take the pot economy that’s been operating under their noses and turn it into a regulated market.

Washington Secretary of State

Washington

Initiative 594 - Passed. This initiative will require background checks for all gun sales, including private sales and gun shows.

Initiative 591 - Failed. It would have limited background checks in Washington.

Initiative 1351 - Still too close to call. If it passes it will limit class sizes in Washington.

Dan Newhouse leads Clint Didier in the 4th District Congressional Race.

Joe Shlabotnik / Flickr

The Republican capture of the U.S. Senate was the big national news last night. But in the Northwest, the toughest fights weren’t over Senate seats but ballot initiatives – on guns, pot and genetically engineered foods.

Mark / Flickr

  The big bucks keep pouring into Oregon ballot measure campaigns. The campaign to pass a recreational marijuana law similar to Washington’s got a big financial boost over the weekend. Even the less flashy top-two primary measure is rolling in out-of-state money.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Washington's law legalizing recreational marijuana made its way into Idaho's gubernatorial debate on Friday. Idaho has not legalized pot in any form, unlike most of its neighbors. The candidates were asked if they'd be willing to change that.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Some Oregon cities are setting themselves up for a possible legal battle if Oregon voters approve a marijuana legalization initiative this fall. Measure 91 would allow adults in Oregon to grow, possess, and sell marijuana under state regulation. Several cities have approved or are discussing a local tax on legal weed if the measure passes. However, it's not clear whether those taxes will be valid.

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Oregonians will decide this fall whether to legalize recreational marijuana. Measure 91 would allow adults in Oregon to grow, possess, and sell marijuana under state regulation.

In 1973, Oregon became the first state to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana. But Oregon voters rejected a marijuana legalization measure two years ago.

Backers of this effort said the new measure is written to address concerns raised by opponents the first time around over regulation issues.

Washington State Department of Social and Health Services

Washington welfare cards were used twice in July to withdraw cash at newly opened recreational marijuana stores. That’s according to the Department of Social and Health Services. The agency says it has warned the card-holders and the stores and will continue to monitor for misuse.

Oregon State Already Preparing For Pot Sales

Aug 21, 2014
noexcusesradio / pixabay

The ballot measure to make recreational pot legal in Oregon won't be voted on until November, but the state is already preparing for its passage.

Oregon Pot Legalization Push Kicks Off Ad Campaign

Aug 18, 2014
New Approach Oregon

The campaign to legalize recreational marijuana in Oregon is kicking off a multi-million dollar advertising effort Monday.

Mark / Flickr

Oregon’s legalized marijuana campaign says pot would generate about $39 million in tax revenue in its first year. Legislative revenue experts disagree. They say the money would be well below that at just over $9 million. The question is going before voters this fall.

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Oregonians will decide in November whether to legalize recreational marijuana. An initiative to do just that qualified for the ballot Tuesday.

Carline Jean MCT / Landov

Marijuana users may pay some high prices to get high when Washington’s legal pot market launches the week of July 7. The initial price-per-gram could be nearly double what medical marijuana card-holders pay. Correspondent Austin Jenkins reports.

Oregon Marijuana Campaigners Turn In Signatures

Jun 26, 2014
Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Oregon could soon follow Washington and Colorado in legalizing recreational marijuana. Sponsors of an initiative to do that turned in boxes of signatures to the Oregon Secretary of State's office Thursday. If enough of the signatures are valid, the measure would come before voters this fall.

Madeleine Holland / Flickr

Some drivers from Washington and Colorado say they're being targeted by police when they cross into Idaho. They claim it’s because their license plate shows they live in states that have legal marijuana. But that’s a hard thing to prove. 

Wikimedia

The timeline for when Washington’s first marijuana retail stores will open has slipped from June to early July, according to state Liquor Control Board staff.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Washington Governor Jay Inslee says he is surprised and disappointed medical marijuana regulation died in the state Legislature this year. 

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