SEATTLE — Q13FOX News Political Analyst C.R. Douglas answers some of your questions regarding recreational pot.
HOW MUCH POT CAN I BUY AT THE STORE?
I-502 allows anyone over 21 to buy up to an ounce of marijuana in a single transaction. Because the early supply constraints, however, most of the pot stores that are opening are only selling in smaller quantities to be able to serve more customers.
THIS LAW WAS SUPPOSED TO KILL THE BLACK MARKET. BUT WITH STORES SLOWLY OPENING AND SUCH A LIMITED SUPPLY OF POT, AT SUCH HIGH PRICES…ISN’T IT EASIER FOR PEOPLE TO JUST GO BACK TO ILLEGAL DEALERS, WHERE THEY CAN GET SUPPLY AT LOWER PRICES?
For at least awhile that may be true. But the expectation is that as the price of legal pot settles down, it will become more attractive to go to stores than to risk buying on the black market. Also, the new stores are selling pot that has been thoroughly inspected, so, for the first time, a buyer can be sure that it’s not contaminated and will have a clearly labelled THC content. That doesn’t exist in the black market
I READ EDIBLES ARE NOT FOR SALE RIGHT AWAY IN THE STATE. TRUE? IF SO, WHAT’S THE HOLD UP AND WHEN WILL THEY BE SOLD?
Edibles won’t be available for at least awhile. Much of the hold up has been the negative experience in Colorado, which legalized pot (including edibles) in January. Some have had severe reactions to edibles there. Ingested pot can be more potent that smoked pot, and there is typically a delay of 45-minutes to an hour to feel the effects. Many people don’t know that and have eaten much more than the suggested amount (10mg). When the high eventually hits, it’s way more than they expected. The WA Liquor Control Board wants to refine the rules for edibles so that they are packaged is small amounts and have clear labels and warnings. The LCB needs more time to work that out.
WHERE CAN YOU SMOKE IT?
I-502 prohibits smoking within view of the “general public.” That means no smoking in parks and public spaces. But it also can me no smoking on your own property if it’s in a spot that can be viewable by others (e.g. front yard). You can smoke inside your house, and outside your house if it’s a private space (e.g. fenced back yard).
WHAT EXACTLY DOES THE TAX REVENUE GO TOWARD?
All the tax revenue goes to the state. About 50% is dedicated to the Basic Health Plan Trust Fund. And about 25% is earmarked for abuse prevention and treatment programs as well as an education campaign warning people of the potential dangers of pot use.
WILL THEY BE PAYING FEDERAL TAXES EVEN THOUGH IT’S ILLEGAL AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL?
No federal taxes will be paid on pot here in Washington. Buyers will pay sales tax as well as the new excises taxes that were included in the initiative.