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Inslee Says He Will Back Will Of Voters On Marijuana Legalization

Austin Jenkins

SEATTLE, Wash. – Washington Governor-elect Jay Inslee says states are the incubators of new ideas – and that should extend to marijuana legalization. Inslee Wednesday said he’s hopeful Washington’s new recreational pot law can take effect without federal interference.

Inslee didn’t support Washington’s marijuana legalization initiative. But now that it has passed he says, “The voters have spoken.”

Inslee says he will work in a “rational and mature” way to persuade the Obama administration to allow Washington to implement the law.

It and a similar law in Colorado will allow the state regulated sale of marijuana for personal use.

“I don’t think there’s any reason that that is antithetical to national security or interstate commerce," the Governor-elect says. "This is a local decision of a local state and we’re going to do everything we can to convince the Administration in that regard.”

Inslee made his comments at a news conference to announce his transition co-chairs. Meanwhile, outgoing Governor Chris Gregoire met this week with a top Justice Department official to discuss what the Obama administration might do about the state’s new marijuana law.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."