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Government and Politics
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.

Even University Mathematicians Have Role In Marijuana Legalization

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Katheirne Hitt
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Flickr - tinyurl.com/mobc9zf

The path to marijuana legalization in Washington state is keeping a lot of people busy -- even university math professors.

They played a key role in developing the lottery now underway to determine who gets a license to open a pot store.

The security procedures for this marijuana license lottery are elaborate: there’s an independent accounting firm, tamper-proof envelopes and randomly-generated numbers.

Random numbers are used so no one has an unfair advantage in the lottery. These numbers are generated using procedures developed by math professors at Washington State University. The procedures sound like the “two-man rule” for nuclear missile codes: two staff members and two sets of randomly generated digits are combined to make the final lottery number.

Statewide, the ratio between applicants and licenses is more than three-to-one. The lottery winners should be notified starting next week.