“What I would say is that our experience in Washington has been uniformly positive on any way you score this—from a reduction of unnecessary law enforcement and criminal activity that really wasn’t benefiting our community, on creating jobs in a new industry, on giving people more freedom in their personal decision making with no demonstrable, horrendous health impacts,” he said. “By any measure, it’s been a very successful enterprise.”

“As far as the things that I’d do differently, I probably would have embraced this position of decriminalizing it earlier had I known how successful this has been with not any really large increase in juvenile usage, which was a concern while we were debating this,” Inslee, who had opposed legalization during his 2012 gubernatorial run, said. “So I would have done it earlier.”He added that there have been “some challenges” in ensuring that communities most impacted by the drug war have the capital to participate in the legal industry. But the state is “trying to work through that to have a more diverse population of business people in the industry—that’s one of the things we’re working on.”


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