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Washington became one of the first states to legalize marijuana for recreational use in 2012. But there are a lot of challenges ahead: the state must set up a licensing system for marijuana growers and sellers, the federal government may mount a challenge, the need to set a new limit on amount of marijuana in the bloodstream for safe driving. And medical marijuana is still in the picture.Over the next several months we will be exploring the issue and tracking the impact of I-502.

Inslee Promises To Advocate State Pot Law In Federal Domain

Jay Inslee
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee looks out the window of his plane as it flies over the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, Wednesday, March 6, 2013, on the way to Richland, Wash. Inslee toured the facility and met with Dept. of Energy officials.

Governor-elect Jay Inslee announced three members of his transition team yesterday, just as the state revenue council announced their prediction of a $900 million budget shortfall over the next two years. Inslee spoke with KUOW’s Steve Scher about his approach to closing that gap and his role in supporting the initiative that passed recreational use of marijuana.

Inslee said he hopes to succeed in convincing the federal administration to respect the will of Washington voters to legalize marijuana use.

“I believe this is a local decision; it should be made by local voters,” said Inslee. “I was not supportive of the [marijuana] initiative, but I am going to be assertive in arguing with the administration to respect the federalism of our state.”

Inslee said that history reflects successful models where states move forward with new policies outside of federal mandate.

“There is no national security reason the federal government would have to intrude on our own decision making; there’s no environmental reason. This is a local decision with local impacts,” said Inslee.

Listen to the full interview on Weekday [interview starts around 0:01:00].

Produced for the Web by Jenna Montgomery.