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In 2012, Washington and Colorado voters made history when they approved measures to legalize recreational marijuana. Washington Initiative 502 “authorizes the state liquor board to regulate and tax marijuana for persons twenty-one years of age or older.”Since the vote in Washington, the Liquor Board has written a complex set of rules for the state’s new, legal recreational cannabis marketplace. The agency has also set limits on the amount of marijuana that can be grown. And the Board has begun to license growers, processors and retailers.For now, the Obama administration has signaled it will not interfere with Washington and Colorado’s legal pot experiment, unless there is evidence that legal pot is “leaking” to other states or children are getting access to the legal product. The feds are also watching to see if criminal organizations exploit the legal market.The first marijuana retail stores in Washington opened in July 2014.Recreational marijuana is also set to become legal in Oregon on July 1, 2015 after voters approved Measure 91 in November 2014.

Idaho Police Warily Eye Oregon's New Pot Law


Idaho law enforcement say they’ve been finding more marijuana in vehicles coming from states with looser pot laws.

They expect that to continue now that Oregon has a legal recreational market.

Idaho is now in a minority of states in the West that don’t have some form of legal marijuana. And Teresa Baker with the Idaho State Police knows some Idahoans are making those other states a destination.

“We would just ask that you not bring it back to the state,” she said.

She said marijuana busts have increased fivefold over the last four years. Many, like a recent 150 pound bust near the Washington border, are too large to have been purchased in legal markets.

But Baker says police are also seeing more small, personal use-sized amounts.

“I would say that it’s more common to find someone with marijuana on them in their car during a traffic stop than it is alcohol these days,” she said.

And in fact, it remains illegal to transport marijuana across any state lines -- even from say Washington to Oregon. That trips federal rules on interstate commerce and the federal government of course also still considers pot illegal.