Tag Archives: Governor Jay Inslee

State of Washington Called on the Carpet for Federal Violations

Last year Washington Governor Jay Inslee, above, called for increased funding to treat mental illness, an outgrowth of marijuana legalization.  In the US, Washington leads the states with the greatest percentage of fatal accidents involving drivers under the influence of marijuana.   (Read our previous article)
Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently wrote letters to Governor Jay Inslee (top), Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado and the attorney generals of both states, asking how they propose to address their failed marijuana regulation.

United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently wrote a letter to the Governor Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson of Washington.  AG Jeff Sessions highlighted the following violations in Washington’s so-called “recreational” marijuana industry.

“[T]he medical market [for marijuana] is considered `grey’ due to the lack of regulation and oversight” and, furthermore, aspects of Washington’s regulatory structure for the “medical market” have “unintentionally led to the growth of black market enterprises”;
The “recreationally licensed” marijuana market also is incompletely regulated: the leading regulatory violation in that market has been the “failure to utilize and/or maintain traceability” of marijuana products;
“Since legalization in 2012, Washington State marijuana has been found to have been destined for 43 different states”;
90% of public safety violations of the state’s marijuana “regulatory structures” for “recreational licensees” involved minors, according to data from the first year of Washington’s “recreational marijuana” laws. Violations include, for example, sales to minors and employment of minors;
“One in five 10th grade students reported riding with a driver who had used marijuana — 9% reported driving within three hours of consumption,” according to the most recent data in the report;
“49% of young adult drivers who used marijuana in the past month had driven a car within three hours after using marijuana” and 64% of marijuana DUIs in Spokane Valley involved youth, according to data from the first year of Washington’s “recreational marijuana” laws;
“61.9% of drivers do not believe marijuana makes a difference in their driving ability” and “[d]rivers with active THC in their blood involved in a fatal driving accident have increased 133.2% from 2010 (16) to 2014 (23)”;
In 2014 alone, 17 THC extraction labs exploded; and
There was a 54% increase in the number of marijuana calls to the State Poison Center from 2012-2014.   These findings are relevant to the policy debate concerning marijuana legalization. I appreciate your offer to engage in a continuing dialogue on this important issue. To that end, please advise as to how Washington plans to address the findings in the Northwest HIDTA report, including efforts to ensure that all marijuana activity is compliant with state marijuana

laws, to combat diversion of marijuana, to protect public health and safety, and to prevent marijuana use by minors.

I also am open to suggestions on marijuana policy and related matters as we work to carry out our duties to effectively and faithfully execute the laws of the United States. You may direct your response and suggestions to the Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Liaison within the Office of Legislative Affairs, which can help coordinate any communications logistics. I look forward to your response.

Left Out of Sessions’ Letter:

Despite the incredible problems from legalizing weed,  a video from Huffington Post chooses to call reminders of these problems “Reefer Madness.”

Washington Cracks Down on Billboards Advertising Pot

Marijuana Dispensaries have been open for three years in Washington and it’s taken legislators this long to crack down on billboards.  Last week that passed a bill aimed at making the the signs less appealing to children.

Legislators passed SB 3151 which will try to limit how marijuana companies can advertise on billboards  The sign for Green Lady Buds in Olympia uses sex appeal to portray a certain image (pictured above).   Another sign that some people found inappropriate to young audiences had a large cat saying, “I’m so high right meow.”

Rep. Joyce McDonald Introduced Bill

State lawmakers don’t think the billboards should appeal to children in any way.  The new signs should use words, not pictures.  The bill has gone to Gov. Jay Inslee for his signature.

State Rep. Joyce McDonald of Puyallup,  introduced the bill.  She said, “The people who have called me from my district are very concerned because every time they drive past, the billboards are in their face”   Concerned about impressionable children learning to read,  McDonald wanted to ban all the marijuana advertising on the billboards.  She doesn’t understand why the state prohibits such advertisements for cigarettes, but allows them for weed. Under a 1998 settlement agreement reached with 46 states, including Washington, tobacco companies agreed to stop using billboards to advertise their products.

Gov. Inslee, Washington, Needs Huge Mental Health Budget Increase

Inslee Seeks $300 Million in New Funding for Mental Health

Governor Jay Inslee of Washington submitted a budget asking for $300 million to fund the state’s mental health system.   Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper asked his state to increase the funding for homelessness and for school counselors.

The first two states to legalize pot are grappling with a host of new public heath problems, including expanded homelessness.

Legalizing marijuana is costly and has many victims, including those who fall into the trap of mental illness.   One hospital in Olympia reported earlier this year that it cares for one or two new psychotic patients every day.  A spokesman blamed this rise on “dabbing.”

Three months ago in Washington, a Arcan Cetin, shot and killed five people at Cascades Mall.  He suffered from PTSD, other conditions and used marijuana among other things.  He had complied with court-ordered treatment, but the protocol was not working.

Documentation shows that he blamed marijuana for his problems.  Records warned of  “strong likelihood of similar future violations,” unless he was properly treated for mental health and substance abuse.  An addictions counselor gave that warning.  (Cetin is in the photo above – Brandy Shreve, AP)

Another victim of poor mental health delivery, Keaton Ferris, died over a year ago.  A funny and loving young man, Ferris died of dehydration in the Whidby Island jail.  Sad as the story goes, it seems as if his bipolar disorder was triggered by marijuana use.

Washington Police Shootings

Was the Tacoma shooter who shot and killed a police officer on November 30 a marijuana user? A SWAT team responded to a domestic violence call.  The suspect used his 6-year-old and 8-year-old as human shields.   Life is tough and setbacks occur, but people become so much more unhinged if they’re marijuana abusers.

In another incident only two weeks later, a man know for violent out breaks shot a policeman in Mt. Vernon, Washington.  The suspect is now in custody after several hours of standoff.

Washington is more enlightened than many states when it comes to the treatment of mental illness, but foolish about pot.  LegalizationDrugPreventionEducationcreates a problem and uses the revenue to solve problems it might not have otherwise  (These problems also expand when widespread pot use expands with decriminalization and medical marijuana.)

The Governor of Washington also wants to overhaul the state’s mental health system.   Gov. Inslee doesn’t say pot is an issue, but he probably knows pot is the issue.  His efforts are honest and sincere.  Other states considering change in marijuana laws also need a plan for the mental health care explosion.