Marijuana possession is now legal in Washington, but local officials say there are still many more questions than answers surrounding the implementation of this controversial ballot measure passed by voters in November.
“There’s still a lot about the new law that is pretty cloudy,” said Camas Police Chief Mitch Lackey of the impacts of Initiative 502, which deals with recreational marijuana use. “People are not sure what it means and how to enforce it.”
As of Dec. 6, it became legal for adults older than 21 to possess up to an ounce (28 grams) of marijuana. And although I-502 also establishes precedent for growing, processing and retailing recreational marijuana, it provides the state’s Liquor Control Board until Dec. 1, 2013, to create the system that will ultimately regulate it. The new system would be similar to the one used to control alcohol.
“We expect that it will take the full year to craft the necessary rules which will provide the framework for the new system,” the WSLCB said in a statement. “As we develop the rules we will keep in mind our top priority, public safety.”
Local jurisdictions like Camas and Washougal are in something of a holding pattern, waiting for the law’s “minutia” to be worked out.