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THURSDAY, FEB. 9, 2017, 2:21 P.M.

Washington will fight Sessions, Trump over legal pot, Inslee says

OLYMPIA -- Gov. Jay Inslee tells reporters Washington will fight efforts by the federal government to interfere in the state's legal marijuana system.  (Jim Camden/The Spokesman-Review)
OLYMPIA -- Gov. Jay Inslee tells reporters Washington will fight efforts by the federal government to interfere in the state's legal marijuana system. (Jim Camden/The Spokesman-Review)

OLYMPIA –The next fight between Washington and the Trump administration may be over legal marijuana.

With newly sworn in U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on record as a strong opponent of legalizing marijuana, Gov. Jay Inslee said Thursday the state will try to persuade the federal government that states should still be allowed to make that decision.

Washington will be presenting information to the administration and Congress its experience after voters passed an initiative to allow adults to grow, sell and use recreational marijuana, Inslee said. There has been no major increase in criminal activity or ill health effects reported, he said, and the sales are generating tax revenue for the state, he said.

“Of the five or six fights they want to pick today, or any day, this is not the one they want to have,” Inslee said. “They would be on the wrong side of history.”

The governor’s comments came during a press conference where he said state officials “are fully confident in our position” on their current fight with the Trump administration over another policy, the executive order barring some travelers and immigrants from seven mostly Muslim states. 

Washington has been joined by 18 other states, some civil rights groups and more than a dozen tech companis in its challenge to the executive order. 

The 9th U.S. Court of Appeals held a hearing Tuesday on the Trump administration’s request to cancel an order by U.S. District Court Judge James Robart in Seattle that put those restrictions on hold. The appeals court hasn’t ruled on the federal government’s request. 

Inslee also took a shot at President Trump, who referred to Robart as a “so-called judge” after his executive order was halted and called the appeals court hearing Tuesday “disgraceful” and said even a bad high school student would support his policies.

“Regardless of what happens, I would encourage all public officials to show respect for the courts,” Inslee said.




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Jim Camden
Jim Camden is the Olympia bureau chief, covering the Legislature and state government. He also is a political columnist and blogger for Spin Control.

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