Prior to marijuana legalization in Washington, enforcement of state marijuana laws were, as with the various other states, primarily enforced by city police, county sheriff’s departments, and the state patrol.
Now the driving force behind state efforts has mostly shifted to the Washington State Liquor Control Board and the Washington Department of Revenue for licensing and revenue collection for state licensed producers, processors, and retailers. The medical marijuana aspect is currently unregulated by the state. There does remain, however, the illicit trade which still provides contraband marijuana and remains the largest supplier of the substance.
Yet when we look at other regulated substances such as alcohol and tobacco, local law enforcement officers rarely intervene in the illegal trade. The primary agency responsible for enforcement of these substances’ statutes is that of the Liquor Control Board.
Should enforcement of the marijuana laws be deferred by traditional law enforcement as well?
In another victory by gridlock the families in the state legislature were not able to get enough muscle behind two bills that would have taxed the fledging electronic cigarette industry into vapor. The sixty day legislative session came to an end and debate on these bills did also.
In the seemingly endless hunger to tax everything under the clouds the Washington Legislature is considering placing a 95% wholesale tax on electronic cigarettes and supplies. Currently retail sales of e-cigarettes are taxed as ordinary sales tax where as tobacco products are taxed at the highest wholesale tax rate in the United States.