Washington Gov. Jay Inslee insists there are ways to prevent the bulk smuggling of the state's newest cash crop into the black market, including digitally tracking weed to ensure that it goes from where it is grown to the stores where it is sold. the Associated Press reports. With sales set to begin later this year, he hopes to be a good neighbor and keep vanloads of premium, legal pot from getting into Idaho, Oregon and other states that don't want people getting stoned for fun.
Inslee is trying to persuade U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder not to sue to block Washington from licensing pot growers, processors, and sellers. Marijuana remains illegal under federal law. Keeping a lid on the weed is just one of the numerous challenges Washington state authorities and their counterparts in Colorado, where voters also legalized pot use, face in the coming months. The potential of regulatory schemes to keep pot from being diverted isn't clear. Colorado has intensive rules aimed at keeping its medical marijuana market in line, including the digital tracking of cannabis, bar codes on every plant, surveillance video, and manifests of all legal pot shipments.