Washington State’s First Legal Marijuana Shops Set to Open Amid Chaos (NBC)

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ELAINE THOMPSON / AP, FIL

By TONY DOKOUPIL | July 7, 2014

But people are nonetheless worried about where this is going. When Washington started to build its new economy, it hired BOTEC, a consulting firm run by Mark Kleiman, a UCLA professor of public policy who for decades has been studying the pros and cons of marijuana policy.

He says that Washington’s approach is far from ideal. In fact, he calls it “probably the second worst” way to treat cannabis after prohibition itself. He says he tried to steer the state into a policy that balanced sales, taxation, and public health. Instead the state built what could be a gathering problem.

 “We’re going to have much more drug abuse, and much less revenue for the state,” he says. “Compared to what we could have had, I’ll be weeping.”

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