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Legalizing Weed: 5 Quotes From Lawmakers After Pot Became Legal in Washington State

By    |   Wednesday, 13 May 2015 06:12 PM

Medical marijuana has been legal in Washington state for almost two decades, but then Gov. Jay Inslee signed a new bill into law, which is designed to reconcile three markets — recreational, street, and medical.

Here is what Washington lawmakers had to say about the new bill and the process in forming it and other factors around legalizing weed.

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1.
"This bill moves generally in the right direction to give access to people with legitimate medical needs. We want to give business people the rules of the road, so they know what they can and cannot do. We want to bring in this whole market out of the Wild West."
Gov. Jay Inslee, on SB 5052, or the Cannabis Patient Protection Act, which is intended to increase licensed medical marijuana dispensaries and bring the standards of that market up to meet regulated recreational market

2. "No one has taken the idea of medical marijuana lightly. What we're trying to make sure is that we have a medical-marijuana system that fits with recreational, is safe, and provides the safety mechanisms for our patients that recreational enjoys."
Rep. Eileen Cody, D-Seattle, according to The Seattle Times

3. "With I-502 [the recreational market], you have a tightly regulated business that has to make a big investment and pay taxes and fees. You have this unregulated and untaxed [medical] dispensary that's competing directly with the regulated market."
Rick Garza, Liquor Control Board agency director, who oversees the state's marijuana industry, speaks on reconciling the challenges to the recreational market to Mashable

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4.
"The only way to beat the black market is by creating a better market. I don't think this bill does that."
State Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle, who voted against SB 5052, expressed her concerns about the direction of the legislation to the Seattle PI.

Another bill proposed at the federal level by Washington Democratic Congressman Dennis Heck, in partnership with Colorado Democratic Congressman Ed Perlmutter is attempting to make it easier for stores selling pot to pay taxes (now done in cash) and have bank accounts (federal law currently limits access to financial institutions for those making money from pot sales).

5. "The federal government can't keep an eye on business practices if they are forcing them offline and underground. Forcing legitimate businesses to operate on a cash-only basis without bank accounts is an invitation for robbery, tax evasion, and organized crime."
U.S. Rep. Dennis Heck (D-Wash.) along with Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) aim to make it easier for pot sellers to deposit earnings with House Resolution 2076


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Medical marijuana has been legal in Washington state for almost two decades, but Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill into law that is designed to reconcile three markets — recreational, street, and medical — by eliminating medical marijuana dispensaries. Here is what lawmakers said about legalizing weed.
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2015-12-13
Wednesday, 13 May 2015 06:12 PM
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