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Liquor Control Board issues statement about implementing marijuana initiative

The Washington State Liquor Control Board issued the following statement Wednesday regarding the apparent passage of Initiative 502 to legalize marijuana.

The Liquor Control Board will move forward to carry out the will of the voters who Tuesday passed I-502 with a 55 percent vote in favor.

I-502 establishes precedent for growing, processing, retailing and possessing marijuana, according to a Liquor Control Board media release. Essentially, a system will be built from the ground up. The initiative provides the Liquor Board until Dec. 1, 2013 to craft rules for implementation.

It's expected to take the full year to craft the necessary rules which will provide the framework for the new system. As the Liquor Board develops the rules it will keep in mind public safety.

Questions remain as the Liquor Board works to implement I-502. Chief among them is the issue that marijuana remains illegal at the federal level.

The Liquor Board will reach out to the federal Department of Justice in the coming weeks for clarification and communicate with state partners such as the Washington State Patrol, the Department of Health, the Department of Agriculture, and others affected by I-502.

For more information and a fact sheet about the legalization of marijuana, go to www.liq.wa.gov. The website will be a central source of information over the course of the coming year.

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