On Tuesday, Washington state Governor Jay Inslee met in Washington DC with US Attorney General Eric Holder regarding the state’s developing legal marijuana program.
Inslee has said that the meeting convinced him that moving forward with implementing I-502 is the right thing to do for the state of Washington. Inslee, as well as state Attorney Bob Ferguson, were concerned about conflicting state and federal laws when they went into the meeting, but they came out of the meeting feeling confident about the state’s plans for legal marijuana.
Inslee called the 45 minute meeting “very satisfying” and a “confidence-builder.” He explained, “We went in thinking we should continue with rule-making and nothing I heard should dissuade us.”
Despite Inslee’s confidence, he did confirm that Holder did not express a clear opinion either way on whether the federal government would opt to crackdown on Washington and Colorado’s legal marijuana programs. Inslee did not press Holder for more clarification because this meeting was just preliminary and will be followed by many more throughout the legalization process.
Attorney Ferguson, however, is stressing that clarification from the federal government is necessary soon. “We made it very clear that while we’re moving forward, some deadlines are coming up soon,” he explained. “I think Attorney General Holder understood that we’d need guidance in months to come.”
Ferguson is also not relying too heavily on the US Attorney General’s apparent support of the law. He has gathered a team of attorneys in his office who are currently preparing a case for upholding I-502 in case the federal government should ever step in and try to shut it down.
“I said we want to avoid a legal fight,” Ferguson told the press during a news conference. “We want to find a pathway forward. But if it comes to it, the Washington Attorney General’s Office will be prepared for a legal fight.”