Wash. could become first state to OK pot sales

Wash. could become first state to OK pot sales
AP Photo/Ed Andrieski

SEATTLE (AP) — Washington state is on the verge of becoming the first in the nation to let adults over 21 buy taxed, inspected marijuana at state-licensed shops.

Supporters of Initiative 502 say allowing recreational pot sales could make drug laws a little more reasonable, prevent thousands of arrests a year, and bring Washington hundreds of millions of dollars to help pay for schools, health care and basic government services.

Voters in Colorado and Oregon are considering similar measures. Based on polls, the support it has from former federal law enforcement officers, and the $4.1 million its campaign has raised, I-502 might stand the best chance of passing.

Opponents include medical marijuana patients who believe I-502's marijuana driving-under-the-influence is too arbitrary and strict, and from some police officials who worry about increasing the availability of pot, especially for teens.

Johnson can be reached at https://twitter.com/GeneAPseattle

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.