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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.

Oregon Lawmakers Consider Early Start To Recreational Pot Sales

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Austin Jenkins
/
Northwest News Network
Adults in Oregon will be able to grow and use marijuana starting July 1. Buying it legally is another matter.

Oregonians could be able to buy marijuana for recreational use much sooner than anticipated.

State lawmakers Thursday debated whether to allow retail pot sales as soon as next month.

While it will be legal for adults to grow and use marijuana starting July 1, you won't legally be able to buy or sell it until retail shops go online next year. That's led some officials to joke that anyone with pot on July 1 will have benefited from an immaculate conception.

Now, lawmakers are considering a plan to allow medical marijuana dispensaries to sell pot to recreational users. That idea pleases Donald Morse, who owns a dispensary in Portland.

"I think it's in the best interest of everyone that we give them a means to obtain marijuana as soon as possible,” he said.

No decision's been made yet. Some lawmakers say they're concerned the state isn't ready for a huge increase in legal marijuana sales.