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Governor tells feds not to worry about Washington's legalization of marijuana

Washington's top officials met with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in Washington D.C. today and tried to reassure the Obama administration that Washington's new marijuana law won't result in distribution of pot outside the state.The main thing the Obama administration appears to be worried about is what it calls “leakage” of legal marijuana in Washington into neighboring states where it isn’t legal. 

According to Governor Jay Inslee, who spoke with reporters via conference call after meeting with Holder, the U.S. Attorney General asked a lot of specific questions about the state's plans to contain legalized marijuana. Inslee says he told Holder the state is taking a number of steps to prepare.

"We're gonna have a regulatory climate that is extremely well documented with a digital system to track this product to make sure it stays in the state of Washington," he said.

Holder didn’t say, and Inslee didn’t ask, if the U.S. Department of Justice is likely to sue Washington over the marijuana law.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who was also in the meeting, said he told Holder he is fully prepared to defend the voter approved law in court if it comes to that.

Paula is a former host, reporter and producer who retired from KNKX in 2021. She joined the station in 1989 as All Things Considered host and covered the Law and Justice beat for 15 years. Paula grew up in Idaho and, prior to KNKX, worked in public radio and television in Boise, San Francisco and upstate New York.