facebook twitter RSS
HOT TOPICS: Drug and Alcohol Treatment  Heroin

Can Washington Keep the Lid on Legal Pot?

The state's ability to keep weed within its borders could impact the future of legalization.

Image: 

Can the state prevent weed overflow?
Photo via

By Ben Feuerherd

01/29/13

| Share

Now that marijuana has been legalized in Washington, Governor Jay Inslee faces the daunting task of ensuring that crops of legal marijuana soon to be sold in the state won't slip across the borders into neighboring Oregon and Idaho. Gov. Inslee insists that he will take firm measures to prevent overflow, including using digital tracking technology to make sure all weed goes directly from growers to sellers. "I am going to be personally committed to have a well regulated, well disciplined, well tracked, well inventory-controlled, well law-enforcement-coordinated approach," he said. The state is under pressure to contain its crops, not only out of respect for neighboring states' laws, but also to prevent legal backlash from the federal government. Since marijuana is still illegal under federal law, the Department of Justice could sue states like Colorado and Washington for licensing grow operations. Many believe that the ability of these states to keep marijuana within their borders could determine whether or not the DOJ takes legal action. 

The prospect of preventing marijuana from flowing from one state to another provokes some skepticism. A recent law enforcement survey showed that pot currently sold in Colorado's tightly-regulated medical marijuana program routinely slips into neighboring states. But proponents of legalization maintain that it's possible. Alison Holcomb, who led Washington's legal pot campaign, says that Washington state should start by restricting supply. "Excess supply creates incentive to divert outside the state," she says. And Matt Cook, the former director of Colorado's Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division, claims that Colorado's digital "seed-to-store" regulations have proven effective. "It's a cutthroat business," he says. "If somebody sees something unusual, they're going to provide a tip...There's just about as good of a safeguard as you can have for diversion in the state of Colorado, and a lot of that is Big Brother watching you."

Most Popular
Sober Living
How I Forgave the Woman Who Helped My Son Die of an Overdose

She introduced him to the drug that eventually killed him. It took a long time, but eventually I had to treat her the way my son would have wanted.

The Rehab Review
Cliffside Malibu
 
 
 
 
 

The “beach-house-relaxed” Cliffside Malibu claims to provide an oasis for recovering addicts and alcoholics. And that’s just what you'll get—if you’ve got the cash.

Morningside Recovery
 
 
 

For a “rehab near the beach” experience that isn’t quite as costly as similar SoCal competitors, head to this Newport Beach treatment facility.

AToN Center
 
 
 
 

Whether you’re interested in the 12 Steps, SMART Recovery, or holistic treatments, this luxurious San Diego rehab has a program for you—if you can tear yourself away from “the most amazing massages ever."

The Ultimate Guide to Rehab
 
 
 
 
 

What you need to know when choosing an addiction treatment center.

the fix tv