Both states are working to set up a regulatory scheme with licensed growers, processors and retail stores. Eventually, activists say, grown-ups will be able to walk into a store, buy some marijuana, and walk out with ganja in hand — but not before paying the taxman. The states expect to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for schools and other government functions.
But it’s not so simple. The regulatory schemes conflict with the federal government’s longstanding pot prohibition, according to many legal scholars. The Justice Department could sue to block those schemes from taking effect — but hasn’t said whether it will do so.
The bizarre journey of cannabis in America continues.
Johnson can be reached at https://twitter.com/GeneAPseattle
Associated Press researcher Julie Reed Bell contributed to this report from Charlotte, N.C.