Washington state Governor Jay Inslee has a message of
reassurance for Canadians – who may fear that legalization of
recreational marijuana next week will come with a wave of negative
consequences: It’s not as bad as you think.
Washington and Colorado became the first U.S. states to broadly
legalize recreational marijuana in 2012 – and Inslee says few of the
concerns expressed at the time became a reality.
Speaking to reporters at the Cascadia Innovation Conference in
Vancouver, Inslee said the state has not seen an increase in crime,
adverse health impacts or significant usage by young people – as a
result of decriminalization.
But he said there’s a need for more research on traffic
related issues – and the state has struggled with impaired driving.
Inslee also says officials have seen a rise in chemicals in drivers’ blood
streams – including alcohol, amphetamines and barbiturates – but
there’s no evidence that cannabis is the problem.
Recreational marijuana will be legalized across Canada on October 17th.