News Feb 26, 2019 at 1:35 pm

The bipartisan group is calling on Governor Inslee to rescind the nomination of an agency board member.



Speaking of letting Citizens enjoy their (mostly benign)
(least toxic!*) favorite LEGAL intoxicant:

Please, Washington, permit us Adult Citizens to GROW it --
not a lot; a few plants a year will suffice
for all but the most heaviest of imbibers.

*Oh, and if you could, please

Making Citizens Sick is the opposite of Pragmatic.


Thank you, Senators, this is long overdue. The absolute refusal of the Board even to consider actual public safety in their rulings has long been a needless hazard to Seattle’s residents:

“[Liquor Control Board Members] Foster and Kurose cited public safety concerns as their primary reason for vetoing the proposal. Yet in Seattle, the proposal received widespread support from the mayor, city council, police chief, city attorney, even the King County Executive as a way to curb the 135 percent spike in public disturbances that accompanies our 2:00 a.m. pushout. But instead of even considering a plan to pilot staggered bar hours—a solid compromise proposed by Marr—Foster and Kurose voted to kill the proposal, citing public safety concerns raised by a few small law enforcement agencies, teetotalers, and Vancouver and Spokane city officials. In other words, smaller jurisdictions that don't have the nightlife problems we face.”

That was in 2012. I doubt Capitol Hill has since gotten any safer at closing time.



"Garza said he disagreed that the LCB has a toxic enforcement culture, but added that the agency is hiring an independent consultant to evaluate the situation."

Consultants, forsooth! That's just the sort of executive directoring you want to see in your executive directors.



"Hauge, a former prosecuting attorney for Kitsap County,..." pretty much sums up the problem. He's a former prosecutor. He thinks like a prosecutor. We don't need someone to prosecute. We need someone to be fair and non-partisan. Let's get this industry rolling and moving forward to benefit our citizens. We don't need aggressive, restrictive, controlling behavior in this organization.


Toxic culture can mean a lot of things. I didn't glean from this article what exactly is the problem.


So on the one hand, Mr. Garza denies there's a toxic enforcement culture at the LCB but then turns around and admits they intentionally went for strictness to protect themselves from Federal enforcement.

That disconnect is troubling enough in itself but it would be even worse if they weren't willing to reconsider their culture given that the Fed has been hands off for the most part.

Now if only they'll allow us to home grow and start protecting us from pesticides and contaminants like Uncle Ike is.

@5 - The problem is overly harsh enforcement policies.


RepubliKKKans are the epitome of toxic culture.


... located in gated communities
at one with God and the po-po
far from dystopia
immune to homelessness
and W-2s

But Bezos IS doing something right!
Praise Allah! And whoever, too.
Too bad, so Sad, we have don't/didn't
have FIFTY more, just like him....


Sounds like a call for mob rule. Consensus opinion ruled by emotion is literally the same as a bunch of wolves posturing in order to kill their prey. Where's the data to back up your argument, emotional dumb dumbs?


Hello Committee members,

I support this bill because the WSCLB has been a deficient regulatory body which has chosen to meet with law enforcement, governments and treatment professionals in secret and have tipped their hand regarding their priorities for the regulation of marijuana. That priority was a law enforcement titling state enforcement regime. The main order of business from the start for the WSLCB was to acquire general law enforcement authority, hire 150 new enforcement officers and consult with federal agencies and entities which do not under any circumstances support what Washington State is trying to policy wise in the field of marijuana sales. Then the Governor appointed Russel Hauge, a notorious tough on marijuana prosecutor who thumbed his nose at the medical marijuana law and immediately ordered the seizure of all I-502 marijuana in response to the passing of the initiative.

As shown above, Russell Hauge is not only an unqualified marijuana regulator, he can only be viewed as a policy saboteur. Hauge's proven track record of marijuana policy malfeasance and his continuous private meetings with U.S.Attorney's should be grounds for dismissal from all regulatory functions at WSLCB or anywhere else marijuana policy is being created or enforced. His appointment was made to appease law enforcement period.

As a marijuana activist who has obtained a financial sum in order to go away and leave the WSLCB alone, I can personally attest to the assessment that the WSLCB was and still is too concerned with its law enforcement job to effectively perform its regulatory function.

One of the settlements I received to "go away" involved the grossly flawed determination by both the WSDA and WSLCB that a plant cutting rooting hormone was a "pesticide." Marijuana..lots of it.. was seized and destroyed using this flawed reasoning and interpretation. So much so that the WSLCB and WSDA decided to try and hide all the times they did this. Unfortunately they were caught and paid me to go away so the issue could die with the settlement. I know of one operation in particular which was devastated by this flawed regulatory AVN action. It is certain there were others

The biggest regulatory flaw by WSLCB was the implementation of ESSB 5052.

Before ESSB 5052, Washington State leaders. at the request of WSLCB, went to Washington DC to discuss the implementation of I-502. At that time the WSLCB, Inslee and Ferguson and U.S. Attorney falsely manufactured the Cole memo guidelines to justify over regulation, based upon a false promise to leave our state alone if we complied with this memo which had already been undermined by HIDTA and MEP federal grants to use our own state and local law enforcement to seize marijuana. Regardless, a promise was made at that time to reduce the overall marijuana canopy to stop any threats of diversion. The WSLCB made an official determination that Washington State would only use 70 percent of its determined marijuana canopy. After ESSB 5052 WSLCB re-instated the original canopy number of 100 percent. Unfortunately, the intent of ESSB 5052 was to increase the canopy specifically for medical products. The big problem with ESSB 5052 was that nobody at WSLCB knew what a medical product (They waited three years to ask activists to help identify them) was so they essentially allowed a near straight up 30 percent increase of marijuana flower to hit and remain on the Washington State marijuana market. This is unacceptable.

In other words whether by plan or by incompetence, WSLCB regulated the very diversion climate they purported the Cole memo guidelines and the decision to lop of 30 percent of the original canopy were supposed to stop. WSLCB has ramped up a diversion climate to keep their new 150 enforcement officers busy. It has been established in Washington State that marijuana/hemp policy cannot be openly and fairly developed without a Washington State agency creating secret meetings or secret work groups with some Norml or law enforcement faction. Nearly 300 thousand dollars or more have been paid out for these Administrative errors made because the pot lawyers and cops can't keep their hands off marijuana /hemp rule- making.

The problem I have with this bill are that it does not go far enough. Instead of amnesty on fines and fees, the WSLCB should be removed from regulatory authorities because they do not have the regulatory expertise. This is not just problematic for the industry participants who are getting nickel and dimmed by poor regulators, when they go to court to fight the bad regulation, it is also problematic because it takes an attorney. One Norml attorney charged 30,000 and then asked for $150,000.00 to handle the "contested" appeal. Predictably, the licensee gave up. The worst problem is when or if they do get to the courts, courts give deference to the agency for their "expertise" in the field. In this case the only real expertise Russ Hauge has is one of marijuana policy malfeasance and law enforcement conviction expertise. I have all the confidence in the world that somehow someway Russ Hauge is going to improve a conviction rate or allow outright malfeasance. This situation is what Governor Inslee and Bob Fergusaon would call "untenable".

Then, their is the issues concerning the counties. While I have no proof, it its most certain to me that a compromise was made with the counties to refrain from moratoriums if the State removed the personal use tax business start up exemption so the counties could get a satisfactory piece of the pie.. ( a near simultaneous piece of legislation) However, with all the regulatory nickel and dimming going on most producers and processors are simply throwing these county assessments in the trash or simply not able to pay the tax. The counties deserve their cut even if it means the state reduces its regulation and has to quit bogarting the available revenues. That means a reduction in not only fines and fees but taxes as well.

It has been 7 years. The legislature has to go back in an take back control of its marijuana regulatory regime. It starts with the placement of qualified marijuana experts. Unfortunately our state has let the law enforcement factions take over the process and the legislature has been slow to realize this..even when WASPC comes in and calls the WSLCB their "colleagues.' WASPC is not a regulatory body. It is a law enforcement lobbying group. If the WSLCB and WASPC want to be colleagues, then strip the WSLCB of regulatory authority and let them all be cops. They certainly are not regulators by any stretch. It also starts with the goals of the initiative... To reduce marijuana enforcement and spend the money on violent crime and property crimes, and treat marijuana like alcohol. THAT clearly has not happened.

With such a grand failure on the implementation of I-502, the legislature has no choice but to dive in and correct the obvious problems wholesale,, rather than apply a band aide to a wound that needs reconstructive surgery.

Thank you

John Worthington


I guess it could be worse. Rather than appoint his old buddy Garza and an ex-prosecutor that hates pot, he could have appointed Gil Kerlikowski and one of his old basketball buddies.

Please wait...

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