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Washington state governor to Horgan: Don't panic about legalized pot

Last Updated Nov 21, 2017 at 3:21 pm PDT

Washington state governor Jay Inslee and BC Premier John Horgan in Victoria on November 21st, 2017. (Photo courtesy Jay Inslee, via Twitter)

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) -The governor of Washington state is telling British Columbians to ignore most of the fear-mongering about the pending decriminalization of recreational pot in Canada.

Jay Inslee offered some advice after meeting with Premier John Horgan in Victoria on Tuesday.

“We have demonstrated, as has Colorado, relative success in being able to decriminalize and not choke our criminal justice system with criminal infractions, but rather have a well-regulated system that can have good education of our young people about this particular material and also, give people a good consumer product that’s safe. We’ve largely, I think, succeeded in those endeavours.”

He adds pot dispensaries should be located far away from children.

“That’s an important thing to figure out, but the most important thing is you can have something that reduces the strain on the legal criminal justice system and does not result in undue usage by your youth and that’s the most important lesson I would share.”

He also says limits need to be set on who’s allowed to sell pot.

“Things that we’ve learned along the way is paying attention to the amount of distribution outlets. The relationship between the retail outlets and growing operations is something you need to pay attention to. We’ve had to change some of our rules in that regard. Our retail limitations to keep retail outlets away from schools was a good idea and has been largely successful.”

Inslee adds Washington and Colorado both have well-regulated systems that don’t require a lot of extra policing.

“Well, I think there is some instructive lessons from Washington state. Perhaps, the most important is that the fears that many had about rampant, youthful use of marijuana if it was decriminalized have not been realized in the state of Washington and that’s the most comforting news.”

Earlier, Inslee delivered a speech about climate change being the greatest challenge facing the Pacific Northwest.

The last time a governor from Washington addressed the BC legislature was 1984.