Washington State Joins Colorado in Fighting Anti-Pot Lawsuit

The state’s top legal official is formally urging the U.S. Supreme Court to reject a lawsuit by Nebraska and Oklahoma that challenges Colorado’s marijuana laws, saying it could threaten Washington state’s own fledgling system for regulating pot.

State Attorney General Bob Ferguson made his arguments in a “friend of the court” brief filed on Friday.

Nebraska and Oklahoma filed a lawsuit with the high court in December, claiming that Colorado’s Amendment 64 legalizing marijuana under state law is preempted by federal drug laws. They ask the court to hear the case under its “original jurisdiction” over lawsuits between states.

Washington state’s legal brief urges the court to reject that request.

“I am disappointed that Nebraska and Oklahoma took this step to interfere with Colorado’s popularly enacted initiative to legalize marijuana,” Ferguson said. “I filed this brief to protect Washington’s interests and the will of Washington’s voters from interference by other states.

“If the Supreme Court takes the unfortunate step of agreeing to hear this case, it will threaten every state’s ability to make its own decisions about how best to regulate marijuana, whether for medical or recreational purposes,” he added.

The lawsuit by Oklahoma and Nebraska officials claims that marijuana purchased in Colorado is being brought into neighboring states where it remains illegal.

“This contraband has been heavily trafficked into our state,” Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning said. “While Colorado reaps millions from the sale of pot, Nebraska taxpayers have to bear the cost.”

Some law enforcement agencies in western Nebraska, along the Colorado border, have complained that marijuana from the neighboring state has drained their resources.

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt says Colorado’s legalization of pot has hindered his state’s efforts to enforce its anti-marijuana laws. Pruitt said marijuana poses health and safety risks to children and teens.

But the brief filed by Washington state argues that the Supreme Court should not take up the lawsuit based on its own longstanding policies regarding disputes between states.

Ferguson argues that the lawsuit does not involve Oklahoma’s or Nebraska’s “sovereign interests,” but is a simple policy dispute over how best to regulate marijuana and therefore not an issue for the Supreme Court.

Ferguson also argues that the lawsuit should be heard first in a lower court.

“That venue would allow the states to resolve their dispute without immediately impacting other jurisdictions around the country the way a U.S. Supreme Court decision could,” Ferguson said in a prepared statement.

If you or a loved one is in a bind as a result of a DUI, immediately contact a Seattle DUI attorney. A DUI lawyer is not going to judge you, and understands that everyone makes mistakes. Hiring a Seattle DUI lawyer to help can – at a minimum – reduce those penalties, and can help direct people on how to best deal with their DUI charge. So it should go without saying that someone cited for DUI should hire a qualified Seattle DUI lawyer as soon as possible. Driving Under the Influence charges can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with DUI in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle DUI lawyer.

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Seattle Launches Pot-Prevention Effort Aimed at Teens

More than two years after Washington legalized marijuana, community groups in Seattle are launching a citywide effort aimed at preventing use of marijuana and other drugs by teens.

The campaign, with support from the Seattle City Attorney’s Office, aims to spread positive messages that most kids don’t use drugs or alcohol. The messages, which also ask parents to talk to their kids about marijuana, are being displayed on nine billboards around the city, some of them donated by Clear Channel Outdoor.

After announcing the campaign at Aki Kurose Middle School in south Seattle on Wednesday, City Attorney Pete Holmes called the effort “an antidote to the fear-based messaging of the war on drugs.” He contrasted it with an anti-marijuana youth campaign in Colorado, which told teens that if legal pot’s an experiment, “Don’t be a lab rat.” That effort featured oversized rat cages placed outside parks, libraries and schools – a bit too reminiscent of jail cells for Holmes’ taste.

In Seattle, organizers are asking students to take part in their “Above the Influence” contest, including taking selfies showing what inspires them not to use drugs or alcohol. Prizes include Seattle Seahawks and Sounders tickets.

Last June and July, as the state’s first licensed pot shops were preparing to open, the Department of Health scraped together $400,000 from other programs to run a statewide radio and online campaign targeting parents. But this is the first effort aimed at youth in Seattle since Initiative 502 passed.

Meanwhile, a newly published University of Washington study suggests further public messaging about the state’s marijuana law might be warranted: Just 57 percent of parents in a small, ongoing survey of 115 low-income families in Tacoma knew that 21 is the legal age for recreational pot use, and just 63 percent knew that growing marijuana at home isn’t allowed.

The study found 71 percent of 10th graders knew the legal age, but fewer than half knew the legal limit for marijuana possession – up to an ounce of dried bud.

The legal-pot law itself directs some tax revenues from legal marijuana sales to prevention efforts, but Health Department spokesman Donn Moyer said the state hasn’t yet disbursed money to the agency for that purpose.

Mike Graham-Squire, a manager at the social services organization Neighborhood House, said the Seattle campaign has so far totaled $60,000, including $15,000 from the city. They are looking for additional sponsors.

If you or a loved one is in a bind as a result of a DUI, immediately contact a Seattle DUI attorney. A DUI lawyer is not going to judge you, and understands that everyone makes mistakes. Hiring a Seattle DUI lawyer to help can – at a minimum – reduce those penalties, and can help direct people on how to best deal with their DUI charge. So it should go without saying that someone cited for DUI should hire a qualified Seattle DUI lawyer as soon as possible. Driving Under the Influence charges can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with DUI in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle DUI lawyer.

Illegal Pot Store Could Be Fined $1k a Day

A Parkland recreational marijuana store that’s flouting the county’s pot ban was served with a notice of violation on Wednesday.

Owners of The Gallery received their state license last week and officially began selling marijuana on Sunday, despite a countywide ban on recreational marijuana sales.

“Our intention is not to pick a fight with the county or poke anyone in the eye,”  Gallery co-owner Tedd Wetherbee said on Sunday. “We don’t want to do that — we just want to say, ‘Let us do business, let us pay taxes to the state and let us do what we’ve been licensed to do by the state.'”

The county responded Wednesday by serving the shop a notice of violation for operating without a required permit. County officials say the business is in violation of county code by “operating without a tenant occupancy permit.” The business owners have two weeks to appeal the notice, according to the county.

On Sunday, Wetherbee said the business is here to stay and pointed to a dozen nearby medical marijuana dispensaries that are operating illegally.

“We’re licensed by the state to do business. We’re doing absolutely nothing illegal,” he said last week.

Washington’s Initiative 502 legalized marijuana in 2014, but Pierce County created an ordinance that says recreational pot shops won’t be allowed until marijuana is “removed from the schedule of controlled substances by the federal government.”

The Gallery could be fined up to $1,000 a day for operating without the proper permits, according to the county.

If you or a loved one is in a bind as a result of a DUI, immediately contact a Seattle DUI attorney. A DUI lawyer is not going to judge you, and understands that everyone makes mistakes. Hiring a Seattle DUI lawyer to help can – at a minimum – reduce those penalties, and can help direct people on how to best deal with their DUI charge. So it should go without saying that someone cited for DUI should hire a qualified Seattle DUI lawyer as soon as possible. Driving Under the Influence charges can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with DUI in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle DUI lawyer.

WA House Approves Marijuana Deal with Native American Tribes

The Washington state House of Representatives passed by a wide margin a bill to allow the state’s Native American tribes to formally participate in the state’s legalized marijuana business.

The bill passed the House Thursday with bipartisan support in an 80-18 vote Thursday afternoon. It authorizes the governor’s office to negotiate compacts with tribal groups that want to coordinate their marijuana businesses with the state’s rules.

The bill’s lead sponsor, Rep. Christopher Hurst, D-Enumclaw, said the bill was needed after the federal government last year took the position that tribes in states with legal marijuana are free to set their own policies about the drug. The bill moves next to the Senate for consideration.

If you or a loved one is in a bind as a result of a DUI, immediately contact a Seattle DUI attorney. A DUI lawyer is not going to judge you, and understands that everyone makes mistakes. Hiring a Seattle DUI lawyer to help can – at a minimum – reduce those penalties, and can help direct people on how to best deal with their DUI charge. So it should go without saying that someone cited for DUI should hire a qualified Seattle DUI lawyer as soon as possible. Driving Under the Influence charges can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with DUI in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle DUI lawyer.