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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Washington Legislature. Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

Washington Governor Says Pot Legalization Must Inspire 'Confidence'

Austin Jenkins
Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Washington Governor Jay Inslee says the eyes of the nation will be on the state as it creates a legal marijuana market over the next year. The new governor said Thursday that along with legalization comes the expectation that illegal pot production and sales will mostly end.

Inslee doesn’t expect a clear answer from the Obama administration anytime soon on how the federal government will respond to Washington’s new marijuana law. He met earlier this week with US Attorney General Eric Holder.

Instead, the Democratic governor says the state must forge ahead to implement the law. But in doing so Inslee says Washington must prove that it can create a well-regulated distribution market.

“It’s very important for us to give the federal government confidence that we’re doing everything possible to achieve the goals of this initiative which is to reduce the criminal association with marijuana.”

Inslee says that means making sure trucks full of Washington weed don’t end up in neighboring states. He’s consulting with the pharmaceutical industry on technologies to track marijuana from farm to market.

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."