Last week, the Washington State Legislature failed to pass a bill that would have merged the medical and recreational marijuana systems in our state. Without this bill, the two marijuana systems stay as they are -- one regulated with a minimum legal age of 21 for possession and use and one unregulated with no minimum legal age for possession and use.
KUOW interviewed United States Attorney Jenny Durkan about the issue. She noted that medical marijuana entities are currently operating outside of a regulatory system and that dispensaries are illegal not only under federal law but under Washington's own law. She referred to recent media stories about a Seattle high school reporting an increase in the number of students, especially younger students, attending school under the influence of marijuana and stated that this "is not an accident". Current state marijuana policy negatively affects teenagers.
During KUOW's interview with Mark Kleiman, "Former pot 'czar': Washington's taking wrong approach to regulating pot", they discuss the likelihood that recreational marijuana businesses will not be able to compete against medical marijuana businesses. Dr. Kleiman is concerned that if few current users switch from medical marijuana retailers to recreational marijuana retailers to get their pot, less tax revenue will be generated and less money will be funneled to teen drug abuse prevention.