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Conversation with Holder has Wash. governor feeling confident about pot legalization

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke

Gov. Jay Inslee, D-Wash., discussed his state’s plan to create a legal marijuana industry with Attorney General Eric Holder, and the conversation has him feeling very optimistic about the federal government’s view of the proposal.

“We went in thinking we should continue with rule-making and nothing I heard should dissuade us,” Inslee told local reporters after he and state Attorney General Bob Ferguson met with Holder. Inslee said the conversation was “very satisfying,” though he also “stressed that Holder said nothing about the federal government’s intentions and whether it would crack down on Washington state or look the other way,” per the Seattle Times.

Inslee “didn’t hear anything that would stop him” from setting up a legal marijuana market,” spokesman David Postman told The Washington Examiner, though Holder stopped short of approving the state plan.

Holder’s silence on the issue might be encouraging to Inslee given that Holder wrote last month that “prosecution of commercial enterprises that unlawfully market and sell marijuana for profit continues to be an enforcement priority of the Department.”

Today’s meeting was a “confidence-builder” for the Washington governor.”We spent some time talking about how the initiative would work, how the regulatory process would work,” Inslee said. “He listened with great interest, and I appreciated that.”

This piece has been updated to clarify Holder’s view of the state plan.

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