Governor tells feds not to worry about Washington's legalization of marijuana

Jan 22, 2013

Washington's top officials met with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in Washington D.C. today and tried to reassure the Obama administration that Washington's new marijuana law won't result in distribution of pot outside the state.

The main thing the Obama administration appears to be worried about is what it calls “leakage” of legal marijuana in Washington into neighboring states where it isn’t legal. 

According to Governor Jay Inslee, who spoke with reporters via conference call after meeting with Holder, the U.S. Attorney General asked a lot of specific questions about the state's plans to contain legalized marijuana. Inslee says he told Holder the state is taking a number of steps to prepare.

"We're gonna have a regulatory climate that is extremely well documented with a digital system to track this product to make sure it stays in the state of Washington," he said.

Holder didn’t say, and Inslee didn’t ask, if the U.S. Department of Justice is likely to sue Washington over the marijuana law.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who was also in the meeting, said he told Holder he is fully prepared to defend the voter approved law in court if it comes to that.